Line News & Events

  • Halton Curve Project

    18th November 2017

    Work is continuing on the Halton Curve Project ....

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  • Waiting for the Workers, Winter 1936

    6th September 2017

    Helsby and Alvanley railway station has been brought back to life by Nick Harling ....

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  • John Hobbs

    7th September 2017

    It is with great sadness that the North Cheshire Rail Users Group must report the death of John Hobbs ....

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  • John Hobbs - a true gent

    27th July 2017

    NCRUG recognise John Hobbs - a true gent ....

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  • News from NCRUG

    30th July 2017

    NCRUG report on the Parliamentary Train and confirm they are now on Facebook ....

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  • News from NCRUG

    19th July 2017

    Here is the latest news from the North Cheshire Rail Users Group ....

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News from NCRUG

19th July 2017

Parliamentary Train times announced

Times for the last ever Parliamentary service over the Halton Curve have now been announced. The train will depart Chester on Saturday 29th July starting at Chester 07:53, Helsby 08:02, Frodsham 08:06 and Runcorn (Mainline) 08:17 Arrival at Liverpool South Parkway 08:25 We look forward to seeing you on the last ever Parliamentary train.

Signal Box Refurbishment

There has been some surprise news for Helsby Junction. In a time when many signal boxes are being decommissioned and demolished Network Rail has announced a full refurbishment of the listed structure at Helsby that had originally been listed for closure in 2022. The refurb will included extensive work inside and a new more traditional looking security gate that protects the entrance to the box. It will blend better into the listed feel of the building and be more in keeping with the rural station. The outside is going to be totally refurbished too, with timber and windows repaired with the structure also getting a full repaint. Pip. The Railway Dogs memorial is also to remain on the box along with the stations awards once the box is finished. Though they may disappear for a short time. So don’t worry too much. Work is expected to start in the Autumn and will extend the signal boxes life for at least another 15 years. Work is also to be carried out on Frodsham Signal box in preparation for the new rail services over the Halton Curve to Liverpool.

Helsby and Alvanley Station remembered

Acclaimed Railway Artist Nick Harling has started work on North Cheshire Rail User Groups second painting commission. Nick famously painted Helsby Station is 2014 to celebrate the end of a 2 year refurbishment. The Painting (Between Showers) sold out a week after going on sale. Nicks new painting focuses on Helsby and Alvanley station. Set in the Winter of 1936 just after the station reopened to workers train services. It will be limited to just 30 prints and will be signed and numbered. A number of pre orders of the print have already been reserved and the finished paining will be unveiled in September on the NCRUG site and local social media sites. All profits from the print will go to our Halton Curve projects next year. This won’t be the last time we see Nick bringing our local railway stations and lines to life. Nick has been commissioned to do one final print for us next year to celebrate a landmark occasion that will transform rail travel in the North West forever.

And finally but not least

Work formally started on 14th July with a spade in the ground event to officially launch work on the Halton Curve for its new passenger service next year, the first since 1975. Cedric Green NCRUG Secretary was formally invited to the event and got a very well deserved round of applause as the project was officially launched. The scheme is on target to see the infrastructure completed by May 2018 with Network Rail progressing with work over the Summer and Autumn months to install infrastructure such as new signals and cables along the route of the Curve before major work is undertaken to install new track and finally commission the signalling through the Winter and Spring.

Halton Curve is part of a £340m investment in the area’s rail network over the next three years, funded by Network Rail and the Liverpool City Region through the government’s Growth Deal. It also includes projects such as new and longer platform at Liverpool Lime Street to support more frequent services and new direct services to Scotland, infrastructure work to support the introduction of new trains on to the Merseyrail network, a new station at Maghull North and a revamped Newton-le-Willows station. You can read more about these schemes via www.keepliverpoolmoving.com 

Ian Whitley
Publicity and Volunteer Officer
North Cheshire Rail Users Group

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