A group which plans to revive the rail link between Fleetwood and Poulton has been boosted by a £1,000 cash hand-out.
Poulton and Wyre Railway Society (PWRS), which was formed in 2006, has already acquired a diesel train, cleared sections of rail track between Thornton and Burn Naze and has carried out work on rail platforms in those areas.
But funds are still needed by the group for further work, including repairs needed on the diesel unit and the laying of new track up to Fleetwood.
To support the PWRS efforts, three Freemason (Mark-level) lodges from Fleetwood, Cleveleys and Blackpool agreed to hand over £500, match-funded by the central Freemasons’ West Lancashire Charity.
Bob Boal, spokesman for the West Lancashire Freemasons, said; “This is a very worthwhile community scheme which the Freemasons were only too happy to support. The project has brought people together and will be beneficial to people on the Fylde coast once it is up and running. It will help regenerate the town.”
PWRS is also working with Wyre and Fylde MPs, Lancashire County Council, Wyre Borough Council, Fleetwood Town Council and Network Rail.
The latter has issued a clearance certificate to allow Society volunteers access to the entire line in order to clear overgrown track and repair boundary fencing.
Alan Fairhurst from the charity and representatives of the lodges concerned presented the cheque to Peter
Williams and Eddie Fisher of PWRS at a meeting of the Back on Track group held at Fleetwood Town FC’s stadium
Peter Williams, of the PWRS, said: “We’re grateful for this generous gesture.
“This money will be put to good use.”
The railway scheme has certainly captured the imagination of local people, especially in Fleetwood and a Fleetwood Back on Track group was formed by councillors from all the local authorities to work closely with PWRS.
High on the wish list of the group is that if the heritage line proves a success passenger and freight trains might one day return to the town.
Organisations such as Blackpool and the Fylde College and the Prince’s Trust are also getting involved to help
the volunteers by sending teams to help with the work in the new year. The track in Fleetwood is not as far on as those in Thornton and Burn Naze, either in general condition or in terms of being cleared of weeds, but good progress is being made thanks to the tireless efforts of volunteers supporting the scheme.
The Fleetwood end of the track will be close to the Chris Allen garage on Copse Road.