All aboard as former Durham Station waiting room becomes alehouse

Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains (left) with Graeme Robinson owner of The Waiting Room Ale House, Durham Train Station.
Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains (left) with Graeme Robinson owner of The Waiting Room Ale House, Durham Train Station.

A new alehouse which has breathed new life into a former train station waiting room is on the right track for success.

The former ladies first-class waiting room at Durham station has been transformed into an appropriately-named pub, The Waiting Room, with the help of Virgin Trains.

Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains (left) with Graeme Robinson owner of The Waiting Room Ale House, Durham Train Station.

Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains (left) with Graeme Robinson owner of The Waiting Room Ale House, Durham Train Station.

The Waiting Room, located on platform 2, opened its doors after undergoing extensive renovation work, including restoring many original features such as two Victorian fireplaces that had been boarded up and caked in several layers of paint.

The train provider helped to bring the building, dating back to 1872, back to its former glory paying for the original stonework to be scrubbed down and the structure to be made watertight.

A five figure grant was also provided by the Railway Heritage Trust to help the historic room enter its new chapter.

Inspired by his love of real ales, owner Graeme Robinson has stocked the bar with regional ales, on draught and bottled, from breweries such as Durham, Allendale and Hadrian Border.

He said: “I’m very pleased with the reception so far to my first pub. Regular commuters and locals have embraced it and we look forward to the development of the outside seating area ready for the summer.”

Chris Cunningham, general manager for Virgin Trains east coast, said: “We’re proud to be playing a part in celebrating the long history of Durham station with the opening of The Waiting Room. Virgin Trains is committed to promoting history and heritage, and we’re thrilled with the transformation of this space into a beautiful alehouse and a fantastic place for customers to relax.”