THESE stunning pictures show the fully revamped architectural beauty of one of Scotland’s most prized train stations.
The Edwardian-style station in Wemyss Bay, Inverclyde, was designed in 1903 and built soon after. It is now a grade A-listed building.
It was famously part of the “Doon the Watter” route between Glasgow and Rothesay, as holidaymakers would take the train to the town before getting on the ferry at the start of the Glasgow Fair Fortnight.
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Neil Smith, 75, a retired firefighter from Wemyss Bay, said: “The restoration is excellent. I remember it as a kid.
“It’s back to its full glory. It’s part of our heritage. It is one of the finest stations we have in Britain – a masterpiece.”
The multi-million pound refurbishment began in 2014 and finished in 2016, comprising a £6 million upgrade to the pier and a £4m renovation of the station by Network Rail. The facelift included replacing defective timbers in the internal and external walls, repairing and cleaning wrought iron features and cleaning the glazed roof lights.
The revamped premises, originally designed by architect James Miller, was also celebrated last year as part of the 2016 Festival of Architecture.
The landmark is a symbol for the history of Wemyss Bay as a tourism gateway.
Before the first Wemyss Bay railway station opened in 1865, Victorian era holidaymakers from Glasgow travelled on steamers to popular destinations such as Rothesay on Bute and Millport on Cumbrae.
The journey from Glasgow to Largs on the Ayrshire coast took five hours by steamer and cost £5 a ticket, meaning it was a trip only the wealthy could afford.
However, that changed when the Wemyss Bay Steamboat Company and the Caledonian Railway struck up a vision to carry passengers to Wemyss Bay by train in a bid to cut the journey time for island crossings and allow holidaymakers to get the most from their leisure time.
After a slow start, the Caledonian Railway took over the Wemyss Bay Steamboat Company 1893 and relaunched as the Caledonian Steam Packet Company.
In 1903 this new company built the modern-day station at Wemyss Bay, doubling the number of platforms and steamer berths, and creating a new adjoining pier.
This new Edwardian station meant people could now make the journey in an hour for just a third of the price, opening up the holiday spots of Rothesay, Millport and Tighnabruaich to the masses.