WINDERMERE railway station is stepping back in time to deal with a sudden surge of travellers.

First TransPennine Express (FTPE) has employed Kendal resident Gail Brumwell as a modern day railway porter – a role that was once a common sight on Britain’s platforms but is now something of a rarity.

Porters are making a comeback as booking offices at busy stations struggle to deal with the amount of people travelling by train during the holiday season.

More than 20,000 journeys were made into Windermere last month – the highest number since 2004.

Porters have also been drafted in to lend a helping hand at Manchester Airport and Scarborough stations.

“A lot of people queuing in the booking office are just waiting to ask questions, so I help relieve the queues by helping people with train timetables and connecting trains,” said Ms Brumwell, 53, of Sandylands.

With children currently travelling for free on FTPE trains, station manager Mick Elliott said Ms Brumwell’s help came at the right time for holidaying families.

“It’s working out very well. She is very popular with customers and helps passengers with their bags,” he said.

Chief executive of Cumbria Tourism, Ian Stephens said: “For First TransPennine to enhance the welcome passengers receive by introducing modern-day railway porters really makes the experience (of coming to Windermere) stand out.

“It is precisely the type of innovative customer care that will help build a good reputation and lead to repeat visits through recommendations to their friends and family.”