Burrs Country Park new Station Announced

Burrs Country Park station totem

I am pleased to announce a deal to build a new, unmanned, station in the heart of the Burrs Country Park has been finalised. We have entered into a partnership agreement with a local Bury company Cheetham Hill Construction.

Mike & Howard (Large)I want to pay tribute to CHC as they have been hugely instrumental in helping us in making the whole project affordable. Here I am, with the signed contract and pictured with Howard Chamberlain, Owner and MD of CHC and a local Bury lad.

I understand plans for a new station were first discussed as far back as 2004. Some 12 years later we are ready to start on site to construct a five carriage platform commencing in early June and will take around 8 weeks. We will also be constructing a shelter in the style of the old Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway.

I also want to thank Bury Council and the Caravan Club both of who have made significant financial contributions supported by a further contribution from the Friends of Burrs.

IMAG1383  The construction of the station will make it possible for visitors to Burrs to arrive by train for the first time and allow holiday makers staying at the Caravan Park to access the railway right on their doorstep.

Check out the ELR Facebook page for photo updates.

 

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13 thoughts on “Burrs Country Park new Station Announced

  1. Interesting! I am sure a business plan will have been done, showing the cost/benefit, but I have to wonder how many extra (if any) ticket sales this station will generate? With zonal pricing the ticket would have to be Ramsbottom – Bury. Or a new ticket introduced for the station. I would imagine most users of Burrs park and the caravan site who would already consider visiting us, will do so by starting at Bury so I do not see how any extra ticket sales would be generated. Then there is the additional costs of stopping a train on falling gradient (brake block wear) and restarting uphill (extra fuel usage). A steam loco would be at line speed normally by Burrs and working to best efficiency, an additional stop would increase fuel usage due to the harsher draw on the fire restarting the train.
    Finally the pre-eminent photography location on the railway, which has graced countless magazine spreads and provides invaluable free marketing, will be permanently changed, whether for good or ill is yet unknown.
    I hope the new station will be a success and drive new trade to balance cost, but I remain unconvinced.

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    1. The opinions concerning a new station will also be a personal one and that’s ok. The need/benefit of building a new station has a much wider consideration that what does it mean for the ELR. The ELR’s prominence within the sub region, its relationship with its three partner councils and perhaps even more important its relationship with local residents (around 450,000), who regularly use the railway through residents permit scheme are also important factors in the decision making process.

      In recognition of the ELR’s role and influence in supporting visitors to the railway and boost the local visitor economy, the new station is the centrepiece of the Burrs Country Park Development Strategy 2015-2029, sponsored by Bury Council, one of the ELR’s major supporters and also includes ambitions for a new visitor centre. The construction of the new station is phase 1 of 3.

      Throughout this period stretching back to 2004, the consistent request from the local community and the park’s many visitors has been to introduce a countryside rail station and it has only been within the last 2 years with the diversion of a public right of way, supported by local walking associations, that the station project is now achievable. In a recent survey conducted at the Burrs Caravan site 81% replied that a Burrs Station would be a major influence in their returning. In the same survey high percentage returns were recorded for visits to other nearby attractions such as Bury Market, , Bury Town Centre shopping and Ramsbottom’s attractions and that a station at Burrs Country Park would encourage more visitors to enjoy a day out on the railway and to explore the local area.

      The ELR has, at its core, the protection of its railway heritage and culture. The ELR is also community centred and a much loved regional historical and cultural icon, catering not just for enthusiasts but right across the visitor spectrum, all of whom enjoy the ELR’s diverse offering.

      The provision of a new station not only adds to the ELR’s evolving customer offering but also meets the needs of the local community and adds value to the visitor economy, which are so vital for growth and job creation.
      The ELR prides itself on being a heritage attraction and hopes 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.

      I appreciate the comments, but feel on balance this new station is timely and fits in with the ELR’s commitment to be a community focused railway.

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  2. Very good news Mike. A welcome addition to ELR’s capacity to increase passengers and national publicity through the caravan club.
    On behalf of the trust please congratulate all who have put this project together.
    Regards
    B J Davies JP Trust Chair.

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  3. I Feel the addition of this Station will spoil the identity of the East Lancashire Railway. .. it will turn into a stop start railway. It had decent stretches for the engines to stretch their legs….. as soon as you leave Bury you are stopping for a little halt. I’m afraid it stops it from being like a ‘big’ railway.

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    1. Mathew,

      Sorry for not replying sooner.

      There is no right or wrong answer. What I have to answer is what type of railway are we? As the second biggest paid attraction in Greater Manchester, my answer would be that we are a big heritage railway now and will be into the future. This station, will be popular with visitors staying at the all year round Caravan park and people coming into Burrs Country Park. It is a £250,000 investment from which the ELR is getting a new station for free.

      We estimate some 6,000 – 8,000 people a year will use this station adding potentially revenue around £40,000 a year.

      I don’t believe the addition of this station will negatively impact on our customers and enthusiasts experience.

      End

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  4. As regular visitors to Burs County Park Caravan Club site. Instead of our usual one trip on the railway in two weeks we went the length of the line and in to Bury Market on four occasions. We enjoyed the lovely Irwell Brewery bar and had no concerns about having to drive home. The new Station is a wonderful innovation and will boost rail use and Caravan Club site occupancy rates.
    Well done and thank you ELR.
    The new station would benefit from signage indicating the access to the station from the road at Burs County Park.
    We look forward to our next visit!

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    1. Dear Fredrick,

      It’s great to hear how the new station has been for you. That’s exactly what we wanted to offer with this new station. I understand the new road signs are now in place. We are also working on internal signage. Mike Kelly

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  5. Having spoken to Bury MBC they have given permission for some signage near the car park and also for us to place information in the information cabinet with signage ‘To the trains’ at various points

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    1. Hi Stephen

      Thanks for this information. Could you please contact Richard Barnett and Peter Eccles with this information and the contact name at Bury MBC who gave permission as they are leading on signage for Burrs. Mike

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      1. Already have done Peter Eccles and myself will be going up to Burrs at some point to attach signs with the park rangers permission

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