New cafe Platform One set to open at Downham Market station
PUBLISHED: 15:38 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 19 January 2018
Train travellers will soon be on track for a new refreshment stop.
Platform One will offer coffee and snacks when it opens at Downham Market station next month.
It’s taking over the lease of the former Railway Arms - a popular pub on the platform - which closed two years ago after a dispute of rent.
Jason Sutton, who owns the new business, said it would be a coffee shop rather than another pub.
“Most people in the mornings are going to want a coffee and a sandwich or a bacon roll if they’ve got two minutes, so that’s the market we’re aiming for,” he said. “We’ll have free WiFi, charging points and a TV on with the news and stools people can sit on with their laptops.”
Mr Sutton, who owns Charmed Interiors tearooms in Downham, hopes to find bygone pictures of the town’s station to decorate the walls, while the decor will be simple and relaxed.
One regular commuter from Downham is South West Norfolk MP and chief secretary to the treasury Elizabeth Truss, who takes the train between her home in the constituency and Westminster.
“I’m absolutely delighted it’s reopening,” she said. “We’ve missed it hugely being able to get a good coffee on the way to the station and a great place to come in Downham Market.
“It’s a great feature, it’s featured on Michael Portillo’s Railway Journeys and we’ve missed it.”
Ms Truss added Platform One would help her find a use for a gift from a senior colleague.
“We were in a cabinet meeting the other day and Michael Gove gave us all a reusable coffee cup,” she said. “Now I’ve got no excuse not to use it.”
Downham Market Mayor Frank Daymond said: “It’s great to see it open again. It’s something for the travellers and Downham Market has a lot of travellers.”
Platform One will be opening on February 20. The week before will see five days when no trains will be running at all.
Network Rail is suspending services from February 12 - 16 to allow repairs to be carried out to a bridge across a land drain near Littleport.
It says the work will help reduce delays to services once it has been completed.
Buses will run instead from King’s Lynn, Watlington, Downham and Littleport. Passengers are being warned to expect long delays.