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 ....

    Read More

  • 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 ....

    Read More

  • News from NCRUG

    30th July 2017

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

    Read More

  • News from NCRUG

    19th July 2017

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

    Read More

Pip - The Railway Dog

19th January 2017

"Pip" passed away in 2015 and has had a new railway painting commissioned by ATW employee Charles Allan.

It features "Pip" in a historical setting on the Welsh Highland Railway(WHR) in the 1930’s.

Charles amd  "Pip"  had become good friends and he wanted a personal painting of her.

Of course faithful companions never leave your side and when "Pip" passed away in 2015 two paintings were commissioned one set at Cwm Prysor on the old Bala to Blaenau Ffestiniog Railway and now one further adventure on the Welsh Highland Railway.

"Pip" was made famous for her love of trains, travelling over 70,000 miles by rail.

She had featured in the painting "Between Showers" which was commissioned to celebrate the refurbishment of Helsby Sation in 2014 and one further painting set at Bala Lake Railway in 2015.

Nick agreed to paint "Pip" one last time when he was approached by Arriva Trains Wales Conductor Charles Allen who had become incredibly fond of the faithful hound during her trips on ATW and wanted something personal to remember her by.

Nick agreed but only if Ian’s new faithful companion "Rusty" was included with "Pip" by his side as poignant nod to the past. 

It is called "Gone But Not Forgotten" and it is Christmas Day on the Welsh Highland Railway in 1923 at Beddgelert Station, where faithful dogs come to rest.

There are plans to produce some limited edition Christmas cards later this year of the print with all money raised going to a charity of Charles choice. 

"Rusty", Ian Whitley’s new terrier, a rescue dog, who is included in the painting will now go on his solo railway adventures.

The first being a new painting set at Helsby and Alvanley railway station.

A limited edition print run will be available. The print will be released later in the year and will be available through NCRUG.

Fairbourne Railway near Barmouth, North Wales has also commissioned their own exclusive painting with "Rusty" and that will be available also later in the year.

All funds will go to the Fairbourne Railway.

"Pip" became so loved and famous on the railways that a permanent memorial was erected at Helsby Station on the side of the signal box.

She gained the official title of "The Railway Dog" at the beginning of 2016.

Quite an achievement for a little dog with a big love of trains. 2002-2015.

The connection with Welsh narrow gauge railways was of course sealed because the roof of Helsby Station is covered in Welsh Slate from Llechwedd Quarry in Blaenau Ffestiniog. A plaque at the station commemorates this tie up.

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