Line News & Events

  • Castle Park Semaphore Signal Unveiling

    1st June 2019

    30 years of campaigning officially came to an end today on Saturday 1st June as two semaphore signals were unveiled in Castle Park .....

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  • The Halton Curve

    19th May 2019

    The Halton curve finally opened on 19th May 2019 ....

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  • The Early Days of NCRUG

    23rd May 2019

    A look back at the early days NCRUG and its first chairman ....

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  • Cheshire Best Kept Stations

    5th February 2019

    Frodsham has won the Best Kept Gardens Award 2018 ....

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  • News from the Line

    31st October 2018

    News from Runcorn East and Helsby Stations ....

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  • Runcorn East Celebrations

    3rd October 2018

    Runcorn East Railway Station marks the station's 35th Opening Anniversary and an end of an era with ATW ....

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The Early Days of NCRUG

23rd May 2019

The early days of NCRUG 

As we celebrate the return of the Halton Curve Railway line and our Liverpool Services. Have you ever wondered exactly how the campaign first started?

Rosemary Heeley was NCRUG's very first Chairman back in 1989 as work started on a group that would eventually become The North Cheshire Rail Users Group in 1990. She joined NCRUG on Monday 20th May at Chester station as we celebrated the Liverpool service returning. The Group has won many awards since then and fulfilled its promise to get services back that should never have been taken away. We owe this lady an awful lot as The North Cheshire Rail Users Group rapidly approaches its 30th Anniversary early next year.

Rosemary was Chairman in 1989 when NCRUG submitted comments to Cheshire County Council (CCC) questioning the increasing reliance on road to transport hazardous material; and that the link to Liverpool should be retained and used. Then in October 1989 there were rumours that British Rail planned to dismantle the track at Halton Junction and Frodsham Junction. It was following our publication to members that Andrew Basden, Green Party, contacted Rosemary.

The meeting was held around Rosemary's dining table to discuss the way forward and who to invite. The FCS agreed to call the Public Meeting and the Parish Council invited to co-sponser it. It was held on 30th January 1990, 100 people turned up. British Rail managers, Steve Sharpe from Chester and David Jackson from Liverpool attended. Also present was John Moorhouse, Secretary of the Transport Users' Consultative Committee (TUCC)and Clr Derek Bateman, Chairman of CCC Environmental Services Committee. He gave support to retain and reopen the line.

The Inaugural Meeting took place on 14th March 1989. It was unanimously decided that the prime aim be the developing campaign to persuade BR to restart the Frodsham-Liverpool service. John Moorhouse was present; also Mike Anderson, Provincial Manager (North West) who had responsibility for the service to Manchester, Brian Skelcey Area Relief Manager based in Chester and Bob Caselden, representing BR Merseyrail. Phil Edwards was appointed Hon Treasurer. It was at this meeting that the North Cheshire RUG was named. The affiliation to the Rail Development Society was approved and welcomed by Andrew McFarlane, the RDS Chairman and Chairman of the Mid-Cheshire Rail Users Association.

Later, representatives of the group attended a meeting held by the TUCC in Manchester.

The rest as they say is History.

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