The hard work of all those who keep Penrith train station running has been recognised in a major way, winning 'medium station of the year' at this year's National Rail Awards.

The west coast main line station received the national honour at last Thursday's ceremony, held virtually given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Operated by Avanti West Coast, Penrith station was recognised by judges for being a particularly customer-friendly location, beating Worksop and Ainsdale at the ceremony hosted virtually by BBC newsreader Huw Edwards.

Judges said that the Eden valley station ‘has it all’, and praised the work of the Avanti West Coast Team at Penrith as community ambassadors.

Each week the team are visited by Penrith Community Gardeners, who maintain the garden that brightens the environment on platform two.

A charity bookshelf in the main waiting room also encourages people using the station to take a book, in exchange for a donation to support local causes.

The Covid-19 pandemic has presented challenges to the Penrith team, as it has at stations across the country.

The team worked throughout the height of lockdown, ensuring that key workers were able to keep moving.

They also donated items of food and toiletries to those most in need within the local community.

Zina Nomicas, general manager at Avanti West Coast, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the team at Penrith. They embody the true spirit of Avanti West Coast, and it’s fantastic their efforts have been recognised.

"Despite these difficult times, they’ve continued to work closely with the local community, whilst helping to keep vital services running, and always with a smile on their faces.”