Logs For Sale, Thornton-Cleveleys

If you live in the Thornton-Cleveleys area and have a wood burning stove or open fire, why not stock up with some logs from PWRS?

As part of our work to re-open some of the old Poulton to Fleetwood railway line, our volunteers are constantly clearing away tree growth over and around the tracks.

Monies from all logs sold will go towards the society’s aim of renovating and running our purchased Class 108 DMU on the line.

How Much and Where?

We’re asking for a suggested donation of £4 a bag with possible local delivery for orders of four bags or more.

Collection is available from Thornton Station on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, approximately 8:30am until noon.

Thanks to the Volunteers

It was a great mornings work replenishing the log stock, a massive thank you too all involved, especially the team from Burn Naze who had the task of loading and delivering the logs from society member Dave Evans house to Thornton station. They did get a brew for their efforts and they ate the last of our custard creams!

There are as many logs still to come so society member Nick Mccrudden will be busy cutting with his chainsaw for the foreseeable future.

Rick Rossall,
Member 215

PWRS in Bloom!

Each year the PWRS submits an entry in the Northwest in Bloom competition, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.

The Society’s entry as part of Thornton in Bloom is just one element of the PWRS philosophy of engaging with the local community.

We have had a marvellous response from the public who have viewed this year’s display as they have passed by the station site, along with numerous supportive comments on social media, some of which I would like to share with you.

  • “The station looks wonderful, a beautiful centrepiece to the village; Thank you all.”
  • “Absolutely beautiful. I love wild flowers.”
  • “That looks so beautiful and colourful”
  • “Always looks lovely- there are people there doing jobs in all weathers-all in their free time-much appreciated.”
  • “Beautiful”
  • “The lads always put on a good show. Well done!”
  • “Looks great!!”

To receive such supportive comments is testimony to the Society’s positive presence within the community, not only within Thornton village, but all those locations that the society has a presence within the Borough of Wyre.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that without the generous financial support from J T Bryn Funeral Directors, our annual entry in the event would not be possible.

Rick Rossall
Member 215

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Generous Donation

As a result of a conversation between myself and a lady called Ann Hiley at our stall on Tram Sunday she has donated her late husband David’s entire library of railway books and DVDs to the Society.

This is a huge collection, so much so that I had to do two trips to pick them up from her home in Thornton.

On behalf of the Society I would like to say “Thank-you Ann – we will sell them at our next event and we will raise money to go towards the DMU Class 108 fund”.

Jeff Banks
Chairman PWRS

Tram Sunday Success

What a great time we had at this year’s Tram Sunday manning the Society’s stall, which was set up very early by Bill Eccles and team.

Thanks to all the donations of books and magazines together with Sid Best’s paraphernalia, inscribed key rings, fridge magnets and pens, we had a lot to sell and we did.

Susan Cox gave us a total that night despite most of the takings being in change, two bucket’s worth, of over £500. Thanks Susan. One lady even gave us the contents of her copper jar which was just short of £9.00.

We also signed up three new members and received a lot of enquires about our project from the public.

We are picking up a large collection of DVD’s and railway books, promised on the day, later in the week which we will be able to sell at our next event.

A very enjoyable and profitable day.

Thanks to all who helped man the stall.

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Rolling Stock Fund Update

Class 108 Restoration Work – Urgent Funds are Required

Now that we have completed the purchase of our Class 108 DMU we have moved on to raising funds for its restoration to working order. The sooner the restoration work is completed the sooner we can bring the DMU to the line.

The Midland Railway Centre at Butterley have supplied us with an estimate that there is around 100 hours of welding work required on the Class 108 which would cost around £3,600.

The scope of work would be:

  • to remove windscreens/make and fit new metalwork above screens/re-secure gutters,
  • remove body cladding at bottom of cab/ repair frame/make good cladding/refit wiper motor/ make watertight,
  • at rear to cut out damaged metal and replace and also to re-rivet the end closing panel back onto the sides.

We urgently need to raise the £3600 in order to book a place in their workshops. The Rolling Stock Fund currently stands at around £1535 so we still need to raise another £2065.

We do have Gift Aid pledges for £1060 which will be claimed by the Trust in due course.

How to make a donation to the Rolling Stock /Loco Fund

Please use one of the following methods to make a donation:

  • By completing the Rolling Stock Fund (Donation Form) available through this website and enclose a cheque or cash.
  • By PayPal or Credit Card using the Donate link below the right-hand menu,
  • Or donations can be made electronically direct to the Society’s bank account.
    Royal Bank of Scotland
    Poulton & Wyre Railway Society
    Account number 10186531
    Sort code 16-16-29

Nigel Kirkpatrick
On behalf of the Rolling Stock Fund

John Fowler Loco Breathes Again

The Society’s 1955 John Fowler 0-4-0 shunter number 4210108 reached a significant milestone on Saturday the 18th of June when it was brought back from the dead after a lengthy restoration.

With handbrake on, gearbox in neutral and all fingers crossed we initiated CPR and pressed the starter button.

The six cylinder 150BHP diesel engine sprang into life with a mighty roar and ticked over beautifully. You can watch the event by clicking on the following link.

Her working life was spent at the Leyland Motor works in Preston which ended abruptly with the plants closure and she spent the next ten years rusting away in full view of the West coast mainline.

Rescue finally came when Lancashire County Developments donated it to the Society with the aim of restoring it to full working order.

Since delivery to our workshops on Saturday the 1st of May 2010 the sixty one year old locomotive has undergone an extensive rebuild from the ground up. Almost every one of the working volunteers in the Society have been involved at some time and their hard work and dedication has got us to this important milestone.

The task still continues with work required on the pneumatic, electrical and transmission systems and a top coat of the original blue and yellow Leyland Motors livery is scheduled to mark the final completion.

Engine-1ClutchAxle Cab Rebuild RedBonnet

Poulton Station Alternative Proposal

Below is a short report outlining an alternative proposal by the Poulton & Wyre Railway Trust, to the layout of Poulton-le-Fylde station on the soon to be electrified line to Blackpool North. Also included are artists impressions and schematics, showing clearly how Poulton-le-Fylde station and junction could look if proposals by the Poulton & Wyre Railway Trust are taken forward.

Poulton-le-Fylde Station – Future Layout

Poulton-le-Fylde station on the Preston to Blackpool North railway line serves a population of approximately 75,000 and is the only station in the historic Borough of Wyre. The station as well as serving Poulton, also serves Thornton-Cleveleys (two miles) Burn Naze (three miles) Fleetwood (5 miles) and the over Wyre villages of Hambleton, Presall and Knott End (five, nine and ten miles respectively) At one time all of these towns and villages (with the exception of Hambleton) had railway stations however, since 1950 they have been progressively closed, the last being Fleetwood in 1970.

The line to Fleetwood is still more or less intact, was last used for freight in 1999 and is the subject of a serious heritage railway proposal by the Poulton & Wyre Railway Society (PWRS) The PWRS have also worked up a realistic proposal to use the line as a community railway during peak hours, to help relieve congestion on the parallel A585. While the heritage / community railway is an excellent locally supported scheme, it can only reach its full potential if the station layout at Poulton is developed in a way that would allow for a convenient interchange.

Fylde Coast Transport Masterplan 2015

This transport masterplan produced jointly by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Blackpool Unitary Authority, clearly states that the PWRS would be supported in its efforts to access Poulton Station if possible. It also states that the station requires a decent car park to enable it to reach its full potential, this in turn would help to reduce severe traffic congestion between Singleton and the M55 during peak commuting hours.

Electrification

The line from Preston to Blackpool North is to be electrified from 2019, with work due to start in 2016/17. This excellent scheme will deliver, higher line speeds, new platforms and crucially four more train paths an hour in each direction. Most of these new services (if taken up) will call at Poulton, offering the people of Wyre half hourly services to Manchester, hourly services to Liverpool, Leeds and York, two hourly services to London and potentially seven trains an hour to Blackpool. This level of service has not been seen since the golden years of the mid-20th century and should be welcomed by all.

Car Park

The station car park comprises of 17 spaces including one for disabled drivers and is located next to the station on a former part of the railway track bed. It is poorly surfaced, unlit and extremely tight, so much so that a turning circle has had to be created at the far end to allow drivers to exit the car park without having to reverse onto the main road. As far as we know there are no plans to increase the size of the car park and looking closely at the NR plans it may have to be closed, as the Preston bound (up line) will have to be slewed outwards towards it.

Currently most commuters park on the narrow streets around the station which is in a conservation area. The historic ward of Breck was not designed to take the amount of traffic currently trying to access it and a solution must be found before the new rail services add to the severe congestion.

Responsible Businesses

Network Rail (NR) and the Train Operating Companies (TOCs) regard themselves as responsible businesses. Their literature states clearly that the communities and passengers they serve come first however, this is not the case at Poulton and a cheap, quick fix and ill thought out scheme that clearly dismisses their neighbours and customers has been proposed.

Alternative Proposal

The Poulton & Wyre Railway Trust (PWRT) working on behalf of the PWRS have come up with an alternative proposal. It is slightly more expensive than the current NR plan however, it answers all the questions posed above and delivers a station car park and community rail interchange fit for the 21st century. Included are artist’s impressions of how the station could look, schematics of both NRs simplistic proposal and the PWRTs alternative plan and some historic pictures showing clearly the space available.

NR Plain Line

Poulton remodel with connection and extended platform (Car park)

Both schemes include the removal of the low speed 20mph junction however, whereas the NR scheme allows for a line speed increase from 20mph to 50mph the PWRT scheme allows for a 70mph line which will inevitably reduce the risk of delays to what is going to be a busy railway. The alternative proposal clearly shows a new platform 3, with lift and steps however, the extra cost of modifying the current Preston bound platform should be taken into account and is thought to be far more expensive than building a new modular platform to replace it. Remember we are in a conservation area, any modifications to the current platform will have to be carried out sensitively using original materials. New modular platforms are easily installed and can quite cheaply be made to fit sensitively in historic settings.

Impression of Platform 3

The new Blackpool bound (down line) is already there in the undergrowth and was one of the former station sidings. It would of course be re-laid to modern standards however, a new formation would not be required.

Poulton Fast Lines Being Lifted

Future Connection

The alternative proposal allows for a simple reconnection of the Fleetwood line to the national network, should a viable business case be developed.

Signalling

The alternative plan does not add to the cost of the signalling scheme, as it remains exactly the same bar the positioning of the signals themselves.

Benefits

A new 300 space (chargeable) car park could be built with a new exit provided on Sheringham Way, this would alleviate the congestion at peak hours around the Breck area and allow for a residents parking scheme to be introduced.

Impression of Enlarged Car Park

During the rebuilding, this alternative proposal would allow the railway to remain open Monday – Friday and would only require closure at weekends (maximum two or three) Having not had sight of NRs planned works timetable, this report surmises that the current proposal would see the line shut for a number of weeks if not months. Any compensation (bus replacement costs etc) paid to the TOCs could in effect be put towards this alternative proposal. To put it simply, the new railway can easily be built while the current one remains in use.

Increased ticket sales for the TOCs and a share of the car park revenue.

Line speed through the station would be increased significantly reducing delays to a very busy railway.

An excellent future interchange for the heritage/community railway which has the potential to reduce congestion on the A585.

Conclusion

We believe that this alternative proposal is a realistic, efficient and cost effective way to deliver a railway station fit for purpose. The rail industry has far too often failed to look at the wider consequences of its actions and as a result we are spending millions of pounds to correct past ill thought out no growth schemes. Don’t let Poulton-le-Fylde become one of those failures, let’s work together to deliver something we can all be proud of.

Eddie Fisher on behalf of the PWRT/S

Acknowledgements

Our grateful thanks to Simon Miller and Simon Relf for their help in the schemes development.

A huge thank you must also go to local artist Norma Wheatley, who created the wonderful impressions of the station. The beautiful painting of our DMU next to the Pendolino says it all.

All copyright acknowledged for old photographs.

Class 108 DMU Milestone

DMU ThermometerWe have reached a significant milestone in our Rolling Stock Fund Appeal.

With the help of Wyre Council, society members and friends, together with Lancashire County Council (c/o Councillor Jim Lawrenson), we have now passed the £15,000 mark.

This enables us to purchase the Class 108 DMU and means that we are more than half way to completing the appeal.

Considering that we only started the appeal in November 2015 we have done very well.

Transport and Refurbishment

We’re not quite there yet though. Now we need £10,000 for the refurbishment costs and £3,000 to cover the diesel’s transport to Fleetwood.

Thank you to everyone for your continued generosity.

Latest Update

We are now on £16,300 meaning we have a good part of our refurbishment costs, but continue to rely on members and friends to carry on donating to enable us to bring a rail service back to the PWR.

Rolling Stock Fund Appeal

The Poulton and Wyre Railway Society (PWRS) is launching its Rolling Stock Fund and invites anyone interested to make a donation towards the purchase of suitable rolling stock for use on the Poulton to Fleetwood railway.

We have bought a class 108 DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) to operate the first services between Thornton and Burn Naze. There are no run round loops, making a DMU the perfect choice. Once we extend services to Fleetwood and Poulton the vehicle would be ideal for our proposed peak hour community service.

The unit is currently based at the Midland Railway Centre, Butterley and is in very good condition. It does however require a light overhaul including some bodywork repairs and a full repaint.

Wyre Borough Council awarded the Society £5000 through its “Shaping Your Neighbourhood Funding” scheme to be used towards the acquisition of suitable rolling stock for the operation of a heritage railway service. It is a condition of the award that the Society must match the amount of the award, and have purchased the rolling stock by 31st March 2016.

With sufficient funds to match the amount awarded by Wyre Borough Council, the PWRS identified the heritage Class 108 Diesel Multiple Unit (built circa late 1950’s) as being the ideal type of rolling stock for our initial train service.

We need your help to pay for overhaul and transport costs which will be in the region of £18000. Please give as much as you can to ensure the Society can bring this DMU to North Fylde in the very near future.

If you would like to donate towards the overhaul, please complete the form below.

Eddie Fisher, President

Rolling Stock Fund (Donation Form)

 

 

Header photo of Class 108 DMU in original livery by Geof Sheppard (Own work). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.