How we use your money

By the careful management of Society operating costs, we can re-invest any surplus from membership subscriptions in the railway.

Our biggest expenditure is the annual production and distribution of the three editions of the ELR Review, insurance and database charges.  No fees are paid to Society Directors.

The Society is committed to supporting the railway by funding projects that meet the criteria of Preservation, Education, Accessibility or Heritage.  Over the past 50 years the Society has provided almost £500k of infrastructure funding.

By increasing our membership, we can invest more monies in the railway.

Recent projects include

Rawtenstall station canopy, £30,000

The picture above shows members of the Permanent-Way team preparing the next section of the former Oldham Mumps canopy ready to be erected at Rawtenstall which is now in place. The Society contributed £26,000 towards the cost of this and also the new steps at Rawtenstall West Box.


The canopies at Bury, Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall came about through Society Vice President Keith Whitmore. Keith was working with Manchester City Council at the time the canopy at Oldham Mumps was to be removed and ‘melted down for scrap’. Fortunately, Keith was able to arrange for it to be saved and delivered in sections to Baron Street for storage.

Part of the canopy was installed on platform 2 at Bury, thanks to a very generous donation from a member. Whilst platform 2 canopy was being installed and glazed, the canopy on platform 3 was glazed also. The Society contributed an additional £15,000 and today we have the whole of Bury Station looking at its best.


Another part of the canopy was large enough to be erected on the main station side at Ramsbottom, following a very generous bequest from a deceased working member.

Re-roping diesel crane £10,000

The ELR acquired its 76-ton diesel crane in 2010, since when it has been used to support engineering projects such as the fitting of canopies to Bolton Street platform 2 and to Rawtenstall. Built in 1961 by Cowan Sheldon of Carlisle, the crane was originally steam powered.

Following a funding request from the ELR, the Society was pleased to provide £10,000 for the re-roping of the crane which was last re-roped in 1976 when it was converted from steam to diesel. Ropes are changed on condition and not on age, therefore with careful management the main hoist rope should last for another 30 years.

Access Coach Conversion, £17,000

Three coaches have been identified as suitable candidates for conversion to facilitate wheelchair access and accommodation for carers.


The coaches were costed at £8,500 each to convert and the Society agreed to fund the first one. The second coach was funded by Aviva Insurance who were looking for projects to fund in the voluntary sector. This was chosen via an online voting system where several good causes were available for the public vote. The East Lancs Access Coach Conversion project succeeded in getting enough votes for the project to be funded by Aviva.


The first two wheelchair access coaches are now in service. The third coach is in need of conversion when it can be fitted into the Carriage and Wagon Department schedule.

Restoration and upgrade of Castlecroft Diesel Shed, £30,000

The Diesel Shed at Castlecroft was required for joint use by the ELR for the contracted secure storage of two ex-mainline diesels and by the Bury Transport Museum for road vehicle restoration.


The Society and the ELR agreed the project which Andy Hardman costed at a final £30,000. The Society provided for the complete restoration and upgrading of the building, including re-wiring, removal of asbestos and re-concreting of the shed floor and outside apron. Today we have a secure building in good order and under the management of Andy Hardman.

Restoration of dining coach, £42,500

In order to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for the ‘Dining with Distinction’ service an extra dining coach was required. The vehicle chosen was 3114, a dual-braked FO coach, to be restored by the Carriage & Wagon Department to Pullman 1st Class livery. The total cost of £42,500 was funded by a bequest of £25,000 from the late Paddy Smith and £17,500 from the Society.

The interior of 3114 is different from other coaches in the dining fleet as it is finished with a blue machete. It is planned to install a plaque in the coach acknowledging the funding by Paddy Smith and the Society. Since restoration in 2017 the coach has been in regular operation on the ‘Dining with Distinction’ service.

East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society Ltd.

Company Registration Number 11773904

Bolton Street Station, Bury, 

Lancashire BL9 0EY

​Telephone: 0333 320 2830

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East Lancashire Railway
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