The East Lancashire Railway has confirmed the development of a new station to be located at Burrs Country Park.
The new station, which will become the popular heritage railway’s seventh calling point,will soon enable visitors to the country park to board steam and diesel train services to Heywood, Bury, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Irwell Vale and Rawtenstall.
The provision of a new station not only adds to the East Lancashire Railway’s evolving customer offer but also meets the needs of the local community and adds value to the area’s visitor economy.
The park currently attracts more than 350,000 visitors each year and this figure is expected to increase with the development of the new station, which is the centrepiece of Bury Council’s ‘Burrs Country Park Development Strategy 2015-2029’. The strategy aims to establish Burrs as a ‘destination park’, a key element of Bury’s growing tourism portfolio and a regional attraction, and the new East Lancashire Railway station will support this vision by encouraging a new set of visitors to explore the park and its array of attractions including the Irwell Sculpture Trail, Activity Centre and Caravan Club site.
Mike Kelly, East Lancashire Railway chairman, said: “The community is really at the heart of the new station. We have worked with local residents, businesses and societies on the station’s development strategy over the past few years and hope that the community will find the new station an exciting and beneficial addition to the country park. We are very lucky to have such a fantastic asset on our doorstep and look forward to showcasing it to our passengers. As a heritage attraction, we hope that the new Burrs Country Park Station will encourage a new set of visitors to engage with the railway, understand its important history and heritage and the essential need to protect it for future generations.”
Hilary Marshall, chair of Friends of Burrs Country Park, said: “We are delighted to work with the East Lancashire Railway on the new station project and hope that the halt will encourage even more people to explore the delights of the park.”
The East Lancashire Railway has appointed Bury based builders Cheetham Hill Construction to manage the project, and work on the station will start next month. The station is scheduled to open in October 2016.
For more information on the East Lancashire Railway and progress with the Burrs Country Park Station project, visit www.eastlancsrailway.org.uk.
Issued: 26 May 2016.
Picture: Announcing the new station are (from left) Hilary Marshall, chair of Friends of Burrs Country Park; Ian Spendlove, regional manager at the Caravan Club; Cllr Mike Connolly, the Mayor of Bury;, Mike Kelly, chairman of the East Lancashire Railway; Howard Chamberlain, managing director of Cheetham Hill Construction; and Ian Hargreaves, the Mayor of Bury’s Consort.
Note to editors:
The East Lancashire Railway operates a 12-mile route between Heywood and Rawtenstall, using a range of preserved steam and diesel locomotives to haul vintage train services through the scenic Irwell Valley. The railway is the third most popular paid visitor attraction in Greater Manchester and welcomes over 160,000 visitors each year.
Burrs Country Park is a popular park that attracts over 350,000 visitors each year. Located next to the River Irwell, just 1 mile north of Bury Town Centre, the park provides a diverse range of outdoor activities and supports a number of local societies and schools.
Burrs Country Park Caravan Club Site is the most popular Caravan Club site nationally. The site currently has 80 pitches, however once the new station facility has been constructed the number of pitches will increase by 25%.