Rail News


September 12 , 2021

Daventry boy, 15, leads campaign for £20m new railway station

BBC News | 11/Sept/2021

A 15-year-old behind a projected £20m scheme to build a railway station has said his age was "on my side".

Harry Burr started the Daventry Parkway Project, in Northamptonshire, to provide a station in the area following closures in the 1950s and 60s.

The two-platform station at Weedon Bec, near Daventry, would use the existing London Northwestern Railway line.

Chris Heaton-Harris, Daventry MP, said the work Harry had carried out and the people he had spoken to was "spot-on".


Daventry and Weedon Bec stations closed to passengers in 1958.

The teenager started the project in July 2020, aged 14, and is now chief executive of Sustainable Transport Midlands.


He hoped work on the station, expected to cost about £20m, could be started by the end of the decade.

It was needed as the nearest existing railway station, at Long Buckby, was six miles (10km) away from Weedon Bec by road and 5.4 miles from Daventry, he said.

He believed funding for the project would come from the private sector, government grants, enterprise partnerships and it was being supported by West Northamptonshire Council.

Phil Larratt, Conservative cabinet member for transport, said West Northamptonshire Council supported new stations and a new facility at Weedon could "serve all the villages and communities between Daventry, Northampton and Towcester".

"We will be doing everything we can in the background working with partners to lobby central government and Network Rail to make this and other opportunities a reality and supporting Mr Burr's vision," he said.

The youngster said he was being "taken seriously" by the rail industry, had had meetings with Network Rail and the Mr Heaton-Harris, who was also a minster of state at the Department of Transport, who he described as being "as passionate about rail as I am".

The Conservative MP said: "Harry took me through what he had done so far on his idea for a Daventry Parkway Station and we discussed the various stages every project needs to get past for it to secure funding and be delivered.

"Harry's list of things he needs to achieve and people and organisations he needs to get onside was spot-on, and I look forward to seeing this project develop."

The project's next step was a feasibility study, expected to cost £10,000.

"I've been told, 'you should be playing with a Hornby train set'," said Harry Burr.

"I think people are quite intrigued that I am running a major project at 15, but age is on my side.

"If you were 30 years old, I don't think they would take so much notice."

Julie Burr, his mother, said: "It shocked me that he's managed to do this and the contacts he's managed to make are incredible.

"They're listening to my 15-year-old and he talks so much sense."


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