AN MP has been thanked after saving the facilities at a local community railway station.

The facilities at Bishop Auckland railway station, managed by Bishop Trains, came under threat of closure after initially being rejected support.

Train operating companies received a bailout from the government at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but the facilities at Bishop Auckland railway station are managed by Bishop Trains, an independent business owned by David Million.

The business did not receive a government bailout jeopardising the jobs of the local people who help run it, and the Stockton & Darlington Railway Youth Team which is a well-known youth group at the heart of the town.

The Department for Transport bailed out train operating companies, including Northern Trains who operate the services from Bishop Auckland.

Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland, wrote to Northern Trains and within three weeks secured rent relief and reduced retail charges which has secured the stations future financially until the start of the next financial year.

This allows Bishop Trains to remain open and continue managing a safe railway station, with real staff who sell real tickets.

Mr Million, owner of Bishop Trains, said: “The coronavirus has significantly reduced the number of journeys being made from Bishop Auckland.

“Since we opened, passengers number have risen every year, and to meet demands we tripled our daily staff towards the end of last year.

“However, the coronavirus pandemic had driven us into a state of uncertainty, where making our staff redundant and closing our doors for good seemed to be the only option.”

Luke Holmes, Community Champion at Bishop Trains said: “David got in touch with me worried that closing Bishop Trains would return Bishop Auckland railway station to nothing more than a platform and a seat, reversing almost ten years of hard work to improve the station for local people.

“Dehenna and her team have been incredibly helpful, liaising with Northern Trains to secure us a package to keep us on our feet.”

The team at Bishop Trains are looking forward to future passengers at the station.