Heritage line team hoping to bag a piece of history

Carleton crossing
Carleton crossing
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A landmark known to almost every Fylde coast driver could be moved brick by brick to a new home.

Volunteers from the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society are hoping to reach a deal with Network Rail to move the Carleton crossing signal box to Thornton.

The building, which has kept drivers and trains separated for decades, is due to be decommissioned and demolished when the line is upgraded later this year.

Eddie Fisher is hoping the Poulton and Wyre Railway Society will be able to secure the building.

He said: “There will be a lot of assets which are made available because of the upgrade.

“Network Rail has to make them available to all bidders.

“But a lot of these are very heavy items and they will need to be transported.

“Hopefully that will put a lot of people off.

“Our proximity is certainly an advantage and we hope Network Rail will be able to come to a deal with us.”

The Carleton box is seen a top target for the society.

Mr Fisher said: “We’d love to have it.

“It’s a real landmark – thousands of drivers pass it every day.

“We could eventually give it a new home in Thornton.”

Earlier this week The Gazette revealed how PWRS was being helped by Network Rail with plans for a new platform and step free interchange at Poulton.
The proposal would see a new heritage railway platform being built on a curve around 100m from Poulton station.

It will be on a section of line that will no longer be connected to the main line following this year’s multi-million pound upgrade.

PRWS leaders are hoping they can build a strong working relationship with the infrastructure firm.

Mr Fisher said: “Network Rail have been fantastic with us so far.

“They have helped us set up steering groups to take forward plans for our interchange and for parking at Poulton.

“We also have some of the electrification staff coming down to volunteer with us later in the year.

“That is a fantastic thing for them to do and we will certainly find them some jobs to do on the railway.”

PWRS hopes to re-open the rail link between Poulton and Fleetwood.

The line has been mothballed since the 1990s and has not seen passenger trains for 50 years.

Volunteers from PWRS have already cleared a stretch of the line between Thornton and Burn Naze.

The society has also bought a diesel multiple unit which, once restored, it says will operate the first heritage services.