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Gallery 26D (continued)


Linsinger Milling Machines leave the ELR - © Rory Lushman

Linsinger Milling Machines leave the ELR

The 2 Linsinger Rail Milling Machines have left the ELR after many months of testing.


Both machines had arrived newly built from Belgium, one in the spring this year and one arrived in the Autumn. Both have been here for testing and were often being tested during the night.

On 25th October the pair did a few test runs at various speeds on the Broadfield section. The test runs were successful and both machines then went separately onto Network Rail tracks to go and earn their keep.

© Rory Lushman

News archive





Race the train 2021 © Rory Lushman.jpg

Race the Train

Sunday 25th July was the Race the Train event. The runners race from Bury to Rawtenstall whilst the train goes to Heywood first then travels onto Rawtenstall stopping at all stations. The racers and the train set off at the same time once the locomotive blows its whistle. The first batch of runners got to Rawtenstall ahead of the train.

Craig Jones from the Manchester Harriers was the first male to complete the race arriving at Rawtenstall with a time of 1 hour 5 minutes.

Rachel Bailey from the Bolton Harriers was the first female to complete the race arriving at Rawtenstall with a time of 1 hour 20 minutes.

© Rory Lushman

Kevin Owen braving the shave for McMillan Cancer

Kevin Owen braving the shave for McMillan Cancer

Our very own Kevin Owen braved the shave on Platform 3/4. Kevin was doing this on behalf of McMillan Cancer Support. Kevin sadly lost his wide to cancer earlier in the year.


Kevin had his head shaved and was supported by family, friends and colleagues. ELR General Manager Tracey Parkinson helped with the shave.

If you would like to sponsor Kevin, there are many ways to do so, one being direct with Virgin Money Giving, go to:

Rossendale Council letter
ELR planning reply letter

Click/tap to open either document

ELR Response to Rossendale Objection

Dear Staff and Working Volunteers.


As colleagues will know the ELR, through our architects Equilibrium, have submitted a planning application for the Company’s important development at Buckley Wells.


Totally out if the Blue Rossendale BC wrote to Bury Planning with the letter opposite. At no point did Rossendale send the ELR a copy. As a result the ELR has produced its own response and as a courtesy sent Rossendale a copy. It’s not known at this stage whether the objection will be upheld or thrown out.


Both letters are to be placed on Bury’s planning public portal. It’s likely the media will, at some point, get hold of this material, but you heard it here first and via HOPS.


Any questions channel them through me.


Mike Kelly

A4 60009 ‘Union of South Africa’ - Ramsbottom Sidings © Liam Barnes

Feedback from Raffle Winners

The following feedback has been received from recent raffle winners


Carol Meakin, winner of the Red Rose raffle in December 2020 – prize: A silver service four course Red Rose dining experience for two

Review: So excited to win this prize - I love our family trips to East Lancashire Railway so to enter this prize draw and win is amazing.


Jonathan Russell, winner 1of the 60009 raffle in February 2021 – prize: Ride on the Footplate of 60009 Union of South Africa

Review:  This is the greatest raffle draw of All time.


Kathryn Holt, winner of the Lancastrian raffle in April 2021 – prize: A traditional roast dinner dining experience for four.

Review: East Lancashire Railway is so good, I have been on the trains before and always had a good time, food excellent and worth a trip for any age


There is a further opportunity to win a footplate ride on 60009 Union of South Africa For more information visit -

© Liam Barnes


New ways to raise funds for the ELRPS

We have been busy behind the scenes developing new ways to raise funds for the Society, we are delighted to announce that donating to the ELRPS has never been easier!


Examples of the projects the Society has raised funds for can be found at What we fund.


Facebook donate

You can now donate an amount of you choosing via the ELRPS Facebook page, either using PayPal or a credit/debit card, and you can Gift Aid your donation too. Just go to the Society’s Facebook page and the donate button is on our profile.



The ELRPS has also joined Easyfundraising link which enables you to raise money for the Society while shopping online with over 5000 retailers. Go to the ELRPS page on the Easyfundraising website and click ‘support this cause’, log in or create an Easyfundraising account and then shop online as normal! The Easyfundraising scheme has so far donated over £35 million to good causes, lets add the ELRPS to that list.


Amazon Smile

The Amazon Smile initiative has already donated over £7.3 million to charities, and the ELRPS has now joined the scheme. All you have to do is shop at, select the ELRPS on your first visit and Amazon will donate 0.5% of all your eligible purchases to the Society at no additional cost to you. Don’t forget we’re nearly halfway through the year so it must be time to start the Christmas shopping, and now you can help the ELRPS at the same time!


eBay shop

Are you missing a back issue of ELR News or ELR Review? Are you looking for a pristine copy to replace your well-thumbed one? You can now find back issues of the ELRPS magazine on our new eBay shop at link you can also use our Facebook shop, just go to the ELPRS Facebook page and follow the link to the shop, keep an eye out for some other interesting items that may occasionally come up for sale.


Peter Shackleton 1937 - 2021

It is with much sadness that we report the death of Peter Shackleton. Peter was a much liked and much respected member of the Bolton Street Bury Station Team for over 20 years.  His family have requested donations to the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society in lieu of flowers. 

Due to Covid 19 the funeral is being live streamed and below is the link should any of his friends wish to log in and attend.


To donate online please use this link.  Cheques should be made payable to the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd and posted to – ELRPS PO Box 70, Atherton, Manchester M46 6AT. username: nije8332, password: 750250.

The East Lancs Railway Returns - © Emma Seddon

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 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, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the ELRPS.

How does AmazonSmile work?

When first visiting, customers are prompted to select a charitable organization from over one million eligible organizations. In order to browse or shop at AmazonSmile, customers must first select a charitable organization. For eligible purchases through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the customer’s selected charitable organization.

What is the AmazonSmile Foundation?

The AmazonSmile Foundation is a private foundation created by Amazon to administer the AmazonSmile program. All donation amounts generated by the AmazonSmile program are remitted by a subsidiary of, Inc. to the AmazonSmile Foundation. In turn, the AmazonSmile Foundation donates those amounts to the charitable organizations selected by their customers. Amazon pays all expenses of the AmazonSmile Foundation; they are not deducted from the donation amounts generated by purchases on AmazonSmile.

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

Loco News
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.

Pubs Re-opening
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.

Transport Museum

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.

ELRPS logo

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

Closing date for applications is 30th April 2021.

ELRPS logo

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
    (31 December).

  • 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.

How Subs are Used

© David Ingham

47324 - © 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.

Litter picking - © Rory Lushman.jpg

Preparing to re-open

Litter Clearance
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. 

Re-opening preparations 
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.


Vehicle testing
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. 

1940's event
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. 

Loco groups 
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

Tree-lopping - © Mark Rosebury

© Mark Rosebury

Amazon Smile

Do you shop with AMAZON?

If you shop with Amazon then this could be for you.

If you use the smile URL ( 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 and AmazonSmile so there is no real difference in your shopping experience.

Go to to find out more and happy shopping!

Retail - © Rory Lushman

© 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.

60009 "Union of South Africa" - © Liam Barnes

© 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!

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