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Saturday, 10 February, 2001, 04:05 GMT
Love affair with film revives railway station
Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard stare into each other's eyes
The Noel Coward film has fans worldwide
The railway station featured in the 1940s film classic, Brief Encounter, is being brought back into use after almost 20 years of dereliction.

Carnforth station in Lancashire is to be fully reopened in a joint scheme involving Railtrack and local enthusiasts.

The development of shops, a transport interchange and a recreation of the film set should be complete by Easter 2002.

It is the result of a decade of campaigning by local residents who formed the Carnforth Railway Trust in 1996.

Movie heritage

The tea-room where the film's Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard begin their journey of forbbidden love will be turned into a visitor's centre.

David Taylor, the project manager, said Brief Encounter fans had played a key role in the station's preservation.

He said: "The clock is being rebuilt by volunteers after one of them tracked down its original workings to a shop in Twickenham.

"He paid 2,500 to buy them back."

Regeneration

The developers have exploited the station's strategic crossroads position on the West coast mainline and it will be manned for the first time since the 1970s.

Carnforth railway station clock
The clock features in many scenes
A spokesman for Railtrack said: "We are spending in the region of 0.5m refurbishing the operational part of the station for the travelling public.

"In addition, Railtrack has given the trust 150,000 towards its project, partly as a goodwill gesture and partly to fund work that the Trust is going to carry out on behalf of Railtrack."

A 10,000 donation has also come from the David Lean trust, a charity set up in honour of the film's famous producer.

Peter Yates, founder of the Carnforth Railway Trust, added: "People have visited us from all over the world because of Brief Encounter.

"It's trying to depict an era we would like to see come back and people are fascinated by it."

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