Bank Holiday re-opening weekend
For the first time since the third national lockdown we will once again be running heritage steam and diesel services along our line. Relish in our new found freedom and visit Bury, Heywood and Ramsbottom in style!
Due to an operational issue our advertised trains between Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall are being cancelled this Bank Holiday weekend.
Our heritage steam and diesel-hauled trains will continue to operate between Bury, Ramsbottom and Heywood, but will not operate to Irwell Vale or Rawtenstall.
We are really disappointed that our celebration plans have had to change at such short notice.
Please click here for our revised Bank Holiday Weekend Timetable.
Customers with pre-booked tickets will be contacted directly with the following options:
Travel on a different date of their choice on any standard operating date for the remainder of 2021 (excluding special events), for one full return journey.
Claim a gift voucher or a refund to the amount paid
Take an alternative itinerary on the date of their ticket, as detailed below:
Alternative Itinerary – Bury
Customers boarding at Bury are offered a slightly different itinerary. Simply board at the same advertised departure date and time from Bury, and travel through the scenic stations at Burrs and Summerseat to reach Ramsbottom station. Whilst the locomotive runs round, customers have just over an hour to explore the attractive town of Ramsbottom before boarding for the return journey. Upon returning to Bury, customers can remain on the train and enjoy a ride on the steeply-graded, eastern section of the line to Heywood where the locomotive is really put through it’s paces. Upon arrival into Heywood, the locomotive will run round and the train will continue to Bury to complete your round trip.
Customers boarding at Rawtenstall or Irwell Vale
Customers boarding at Rawtenstall or Irwell Vale, are offered a slightly different itinerary. Simply board further down the line at Ramsbottom and travel through the scenic stations of Summerseat and Burrs to reach Bury station. Instead of alighting at Bury, remain on-board the train and enjoy a ride on the steeply-graded, eastern section of the line to Heywood where the locomotive is really put through it’s paces. Upon arrival into Heywood, the locomotive will run round and the train will continue to Bury and Ramsbottom to complete your round trip.
© Emma Seddon
AmazonSmile - You shop - Amazon donates to the ELRPS
AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support the ELRPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.co.uk on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones. When you shop AmazonSmile, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.co.uk, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the ELRPS.
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What is the AmazonSmile Foundation?
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Click here to join AmazonSmile and support the ELRPS.
Bury Station Gift Shop Re-opening
The retail shop in the Booking Hall at Bury will be open every day that we operate a train service.
We have re-merchandised the entire shop and have a huge number of gifts, souvenirs, books and clothing which we need to sell through.
We will re-open the shop on Saturday, 1st May and for the entire bank holiday weekend, from 9am to 4pm. On all three days you will receive, on production of the appropriate ID such as a HOPS or ELRPS Membership Card, an amazing 50% off the marked price of our entire range. Plus, if you buy any four items of your choice, you will get the least expensive item for FREE.
For example, if you were to purchase a:
- book £24 you’d pay £12
- DVD £20 you’d pay £10
- Thomas Toy £14 you’d pay £7
- Scotsman Gift £12 you’d pay £6
BUT FOR ALL 4 ITEMS you’d only pay £29 instead of £70.
As of May 1st, onwards (until further notice), visitors will be entitled to 25% off the marked price of our entire range of current stock plus the buy any four Items of your choice get the cheapest item FREE. This offer will be available to everyone visiting the Railway.
In addition to the above, if you purchase any of our huge range of mugs and on the day of purchase you show the Buffet Staff at Bury or Rawtenstall your till receipt, they will fill your mug with FREE unlimited tea or coffee (not lattes etc) or fruit squash.
We are seeking additional volunteers to work within the Retail Department with hours to suit you. No previous retail experience is required as training will be given. If you are interested, please call Seán Lea at any time (07551-638398) or pop into the shop, when it's open, for a coffee and a chat.
© Liam Barnes
Preparing to re-open
34092 – was steam tested last week having not been in Steam since January 2020, no major issues found, loco will be now be boxed up and made ready for Crew training days on 23/24/25 April.
60009 – Minor repairs to steam valves and fittings have been undertaken and heavy clean of bottom end frames and underneath to remove years on grime and dirt. Loco requires a spring change before entering service.
45407 – Has had a test run this week and has left the railway on Friday 9th April to resume Jacobite workings with 45212.
Both of the ELR’s Pubs have re-opened, to the relief of those who have been craving a pint, check social media and website for opening hours. In line with UK Gov guidelines it will be only Outdoor and seated service.
Work has started to ready the Museum for Re-opening on May 22nd, 2021.
The Remedial Works for Phase 2A are nearing completion, with the old L&Y drainage system being reinstated, which will prevent almost 80% of the Top Field rainfall from impacting on the cutting. The system discharges to the River Irwell at Summerseat and Chestwheel. Minor works to the diversion of water in the top fields is to be completed. The track drainage within the cutting has also been reinstated, repaired and now takes all the rainfall in the cutting to the River. These works will prevent the flooding last seen in October 2020.
Ongoing partnership work with Bury Council on the works at the top of the stairs is ongoing. In total these works now divert about 95% of the water from the landslip. Investigation into the impacts of groundwater have been completed and concluded that groundwater is a significant factor in the landslip dynamics. Further works to slew the track towards the east are being designed, and cross cutting drainage is also at design stage. A draft phase 2A remedial works report has been completed.
Vacancy for Fundraising Coordinator
The East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Limited Board has, like many businesses, been reviewing its strategy for the years ahead as we emerge from the global pandemic of COVID-19.
The ELRPS Board is looking for a dynamic volunteer Fundraising Coordinator to drive fundraising to achieve the charitable objectives of the ELRPS Company. The Society Board has recognised that there is a need for expertise in fundraising at a high level.
The funds will be used for the furtherance of education, restoration of locomotives, rolling stock, infrastructure projects, buildings and improvements to preserve the heritage of the East Lancashire Railway for future generations. Board members of the Society are all unpaid save for approved expenses on Society business.
One of the principle activities of the Society is to provide funding for projects undertaken in preserving the heritage of the East Lancashire Light Railway Company Limited. To date the Society has provided around £600,000 in funding including a Grant of £129,000 made in April 2020 to assist the ELLR through its enforced COVID-19 lock-down.
This latest Grant has substantially reduced the Society’s reserves and it is vital that these are rapidly increased so that the Society is better placed to assist the funding of the ELLR as it also emerges from COVID-19 with substantially reduced reserves. The ELLR is even more reliant on the Society than arguably at any time in its history.
Applications are therefore sought from members of the Society or their Friends and Family who have the appropriate skills to take on this key role in the Society. If you have and would like to know more, and receive a copy of the role description and person specification please contact John G Tate, ELRPS Company Secretary.
E mail application/CV to email@example.com
Closing date for applications is 30th April 2021.
How we spend your subscriptions
For every £ the Society receives by way of membership subscriptions we have been able to reinvest 40% in the East Lancashire Railway by way of project funding or grants.
You can help us to increase the amount we contribute to the continued existence of the railway by:
Renewing your membership subscription when it becomes due
Agreeing to receive your copy of the magazine and AGM correspondence electronically, this will allow us to double the amount we contribute to the railway.
Encouraging others to become Society members.
© David Ingham
Help us to restore LMS Jinty 47324 to working order
We need your help! Please make a donation here to help us complete the restoration of LMS Jinty 47324.
The locomotive, affectionately known as "Jimmy the Jinty", will, when complete, join steam locomotive operations on the ELR for future generations.
Before the Pandemic, we were approximately half way through repairs to the locomotive boiler, and much of the repair work was complete on the locomotive frames, preparing them for re-wheeling the locomotive.
Much of the cab fittings have been repaired and are ready to be refitted. Copper welding on the firebox has been completed, and new foundation ring has been made. We are asking for donations to complete the boiler overhaul, which still requires, crown stays in the firebox, and welding in new plate work, new stays, and new tubes.
Please donate now at JustGiving and let's get Jimmy the Jinty back into service.
Raffle - Lancastrian Lunch for Four
End the week in style with a steam train hauled Sunday Lunch! This traditional three course meal is a firm family favourite and celebrates the very best of British, from the rolling Lancastrian hills that pass the window, to the hearty local produce that we are proud to serve.
This prize consists of four tickets for our Lancastrian Lunch experience on any available date of your choice, valid for two years. Lancastrian Lunches will be running from May through to November in 2021, the total value of the prize is £200.
If the prize winner is unable to attend for any reason or simply would prefer to receive the value of the prize instead then this can be accommodated.
Why not give the family an end of week treat - do it in style with a steam train hauled Sunday Lunch!
Raffle tickets cost £10 and an alternative cash prize is available. The raffle ends on 27th April at 5pm. Below is a link to the raffle and good luck!
Preparing to re-open
Thanks to everyone who assisted with the litter and fence inspection work, three full skip loads were collected. There are some fencing repairs and further clearance work being undertaken on 31st March.
Alderbottom track work
Track work is now completed, apart from further ballasting and packing. The weight restriction has now been lifted so large locos can once again go to Rawtenstall.
Off-track P-way team
The team were out again over the weekend dealing with some trees that were obscuring signals near Ramsbottom. We now have two tree surgeons climbing trees and removing branches.
Resulting logs will be taken from site, stored until dry then sold for railway income. Smaller branches are fed through a wood chipper and used to keep the weeds down.
The team will soon be back out with the sprayers treating weeds before the railway reopens. Treated weeds can take up to a couple of weeks to die back.
Farewell to the Thumper unit
The Thumper unit left the ELR this week for pastures new, the decision was taken sometime ago due to asbestos content and high financial outlay to return the vehicles back to operational condition, it was considered unviable. The unit is going to small fledgling Heritage centre is Worcestershire.
There is a lot to do with preparing railway to re-open. If you want to assist with getting carriages cleaned and ready, please contact Don Reeve, he would appreciate the help.
There is much going on behind the scenes with revamp of the Bolton Street Shop, if your interested in helping in the shop contact Mark Hill or Sean Lea.
Exams on carriage and locos are progressing. Work on LYR Pug 19 is progressing well. Thanks to all the volunteers and staff who have been beavering away, throughout the last 12 months to ensure we are ready to go.
Linsinger are due to return soon with another rail new milling machine, and the first one will be returning for further work, we are also due to be testing of some autonomous pods for Network Rail, in the near future.
Has been cancelled for 2021. This would be a difficult event to stage with Covid Restrictions.
Flying Scotsman Returns
New dates are to be announced shortly for the return of 60103 Flying Scotsman to take place later this year.
Week commencing 29th March work can resume on loco projects at the railway. Groups have been asked to keep to four persons per day to start off with, following social distancing and Covid Measures as per risk assessments.
© Rory Lushman
© Mark Rosebury
Do you shop with AMAZON?
If you shop with Amazon then this could be for you.
If you use the smile URL (https://smile.amazon.co.uk) instead of the normal Amazon one when shopping then AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the net purchase price of your Amazon purchases to your chosen charity.
And guess what? ELR is a registered charity with Amazon so its a really easy way to donate without costing you a penny! You use the same account on amazon.co.uk and AmazonSmile so there is no real difference in your shopping experience.
Go to https://smile.amazon.co.uk to find out more and happy shopping!
© Rory Lushman
Volunteer Retail Assistants Required
The Retail Shop in the Booking Hall at Bury will be re-opening as of May 1st
We have a had a good clear-through of existing stock and the shop is now laid out and almost ready to re-open. There are lots of Gifts and Souvenirs that we need to sell in order to re-invest the revenue back into our Railway.
We need eager Volunteers to assist in the sale of Gifts from 9am to 5pm on the Days we are running trains. No previous Retail Experience is required as Training will be given. You will be required the handle cash but for those of you who may be worried about using an electronic till – if you can use a pocket calculator you won’t have any issues using our tills. What is required is a Warm Friendly Personality and ability to chat and entice Our Customers to make some purchases.
Anyone age 16+ can apply for one of our Retail Volunteer positions. You won’t be required to work the entire day for example - you may be able to do just Mornings eg 8:30am – 12:30pm or Middle of the day 10:30am – 2:30pm or Afternoons 1:30pm – 5:30pm.
Once we have an idea of how many Volunteers, we will put together a proper Rota so all our Volunteers know which days they are working and when.
If you are interested, or would like further information, please call Sean Lea on 07551-638398. Sean would love to hear from you anytime.
© Liam Barnes
We're re-opening 1st May 2021 and beyond
The East Lancashire Railway is thrilled to announce that we are preparing to open our doors once again.
Standard services will be running from the 1st May onwards and will see a variety of both steam and diesel trains working full timetables every weekend.
This isn't all, soon we will also be re-opening our café and pubs, more info on this to follow! Safety is of paramount importance so we will be following our Covid-Safe guidelines to the letter.
Tickets for standard services can be purchased in advance below. Prices are being held until further notice so now is a great time to book!