We brought our new loco Mighty Max back to Brookside today.
It was purchased from the Grosvenor Park Miniature Railway, Chester, who originally bought it from Brookside 2 years ago when we all thought we’d be closing down.
It’s a fantastic loco more than capable of pulling full trains up our 1in36 incline. We’ve got a bit of tinkering to do with it, but should hopefully be on test over the next few days.
Back Open 4 Days a Week
We are now open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday. 11 to 4 each day.
Late night Thursday (weather dependant).
There are no pre-bookings on line. Simply come along and buy a ticket from the Station doorway.
All coaches are screened and are social distancing compliant.
The station shop will be open, but subject to reduced entry conditions.
The coach screens have finally arrived and been fitted!!
If you look carefully at the images, you can see that all the coaches, and therefore every social group of passengers, are screened from other people.
This means the wearing of Face Coverings is now optional.
Re-opening 4th July 2020 !!
Yes! After 111 days in lockdown, we’re opening again on the 4 July (11 to 4).
We’re having to make quite a few changes. These include:-
• One way system on the platform;
• Face coverings have to be worn on the train (we’ll have some for sale if you forget to bring one);
• There will be no public access inside the shop;
• No prams / buggies or spectators on the station (due to the one way system);
It’s challenging times but let’s get back to having fun!
See you Saturday
Paint, paint & more paint!
It’s all been happening at Brookside during this lockdown.
The biggest change is to the station area which has all been painted.
It was long overdue, but the weather hadn’t been too kind until now (not to mention our priorities being diverted towards last year’s flooding, tunnel diversion, bridges being replaced, etc).
But now the station looks fantastic!
Hope to see you when the government allows us to reopen – hopefully in just a few weeks’ time. Watch this space.
Railway Service Still Suspended
You may be aware that today the garden centre reopened for business with, of course, all the necessary safety measures.
In accordance with current government guidance, we have decided that our miniature railway will remain closed in order to help protect our visitors, staff and volunteers.
The station gift shop will also be closed.
Hopefully this will be a short term situation, and normal service will soon return.
We will continue to carefully monitor developments and keep you informed via our Facebook pages and our website.
Many thanks for your support through these difficult times.
The Brookside Team
Railway Service Suspended
After careful consideration, we have taken the decision to temporarily close the railway due to the current government advice on the coronavirus.
Hopefully this will be a short term situation, but under the circumstances we have no choice but to help protect our passengers and staff.
The well-being of our visitors, staff and volunteers is our absolute priority and matters of health and safety are at the forefront of our thoughts.
The station gift shop will also be closed.
Please bear with us through this difficult time. We completely share your disappointment this news may bring, but the situation is beyond our immediate control.
We will closely monitor developments and keep you informed via our Facebook and website pages.
Many thanks for your support,
The Brookside Team
Burglary & Street Art
A new year and just over one year since we took over the railway to restore it back to its former glory.
In twelve months we’ve certainly had our work cut out (not to mention our fair share of bad luck):-
• Replaced / repaired 3 bridges to make them safe;
• The 60’ long tunnel was found to be dangerous. The only solution was to re-route around it (200 tonnes of stone & a 200’ long fence);
• Refurbishing inside the station shop with wall panelling & new floor, re-wiring, heating, etc;
• Repair / make safe the big station canopy;
• Replace all the station fencing due to decay & new paving on the platforms;
• Flooding. The station area was under 3’ of water;
• Approximately half of the track replaced / repaired;
• Restoring the rotten roof and doors of the coach shed;
• The new loco especially constructed for us not being suitable (subject of further action);
• The river finding a new course along the trackbed on the fairground loop - resulting in us having to close that section of the line;
• Building a staffroom;
• Creating ‘Fairy Wood’;
• The sad unexpected loss of our good friend and railway volunteer.
There’s probably a lot more – but you get the idea!
Was it stressful and worrying? Oh Yes! Was it fun? Yes again!
The best bit? Discovering so many brilliant customers who have stayed with us and supported us through all the year’s ups and downs. We've had so much thanks and encouragement. We also have had the good luck of so many hardworking staff who’ve given their time running and repairing the railway (we could always do with more volunteers though….)
So let’s see what 2020 brings. Things can only get better!
Thank you to all and have a happy new year.
Christmas Holiday Opening
We’re open and running every day over the holidays apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day – 11 to 4pm (Christmas Eve & New Year's Eve we finish at 3pm though).
When the kids go back to school we’ll only be open at weekends until April to allow for track replacement, etc.
Come and see us – but if you can’t make it, we’ll wish you a Merry Christmas now.
10+2 Ticket Launched
Due to popular demand, we’ve produced a 10+2 ticket. Simply buy 10 rides for £20.00 and get an extra 2 rides for free – saving a whopping £4.00.
There’s no time limit when you can use it, so save all year!
Ideal stocking filler for the young enthusiast (and the not so young ones as well).
Closed for Funeral
I am saddened to report that the railway will be closed for the day on Thursday 14 November for the funeral of our friend and volunteer Graham Speechley.
Graham will be known to many of you as he could often be found driving or guarding. He also was very productive behind the scenes, track laying, repairing – there wasn’t much he couldn’t do.
He will be very sadly missed.
Flooded – But we’re open!
In the afternoon of Wednesday 31 July 2019 we were flooded.
Thanks to the community, we recovered after only 4 days hard work!
Watch our story
New Opening Hours!
From now on we’ll be open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
It’s 11 to 4 every day except Thursday. Thursday is a late finish at 7pm. Thursday is also the restaurant’s late night – so why not have a tea time treat!
We’ve done it!
The full track is now open!
For the ones who haven’t been following what’s been happening the last few months, let me explain…
In early March this year we discovered that the Garden Centre’s retaining wall against the neighbouring field had become unstable due to heavy rain and the growing tree roots. As our track runs next to it (it forms part of the 60' tunnel after the loco sheds), we had no choice but to stop running in that section. The problem was solved by demolishing the carriage shed which is alongside the tunnel (the wooden roof was already falling down due to decay) and re-route the main line track though there.
Over 150 foot of fencing was erected, 300 sleepers placed and 160 tonnes of hardcore laid (in addition to the many packets of Radox used by our volunteers who did most of the work!).
We are now operating a full service around the garden centre again. There’s still a lot to do (add sidings, enhance the appearance and make it look interesting, etc) so you’ll hopefully see improvements every week.
See our display in the Station Shop for further details.
Thank you to all our customers who supported us through all the upheaval and for all the words of encouragement. It was very much appreciated.
Open every weekend until the school summer holidays – 11 to 4 each Saturday & Sunday.
WE’RE BACK OPEN AND RUNNING!
At 11am on Saturday 13th April (tomorrow) we’re pleased to say that we’re back running trains.
The tunnel hasn’t been repaired yet as it’s a far bigger job than everyone initially thought, but we’re offering a restricted shuttle service at a discounted price.
The new loco ‘Wilf’ will be helping our resident ‘Miss Katie’ pull our brand new luxury coaches. Of course the new shop will be open.
The station is also looking fantastic having been resurfaced and repaired (although we're waiting for the nicer weather before it's all painted)
So come along and see it all for yourself.
Opening times over the School Holidays are:
Sat 13th & Sun 14th – 11am to 4pm
Mon 15th & Tues 16th – Closed
Wed 17th, Thurs 18th, Good Friday 19th & Sat 20th – 11am to 4pm
Easter Sunday 21st – closed (it’s the law!)
Easter Mon 22nd – 11am – 4pm
Tues 23rd to Fri 26th – Closed
Then we’re only open weekends until the next holidays
See you there!
Sorry. Still no trains running this weekend and during half term.
The Garden Centre’s retaining wall against the neighbouring field is still unstable due to the recent heavy rain. As our track runs next to it (it forms part of the 60' tunnel after the loco sheds), we had no choice but to stop trains in that section. It’s very unfortunate after all the work our volunteers have done, but of course safety is our main concern.
Very soon we are hoping to be able to run an ‘out and back’ shuttle service on part of the railway. Our engineers are still modifying things (brakes and the track points) to allow this.
Hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re up and running in some form. Finger's crossed, the Garden Centre will soon repair the wall.
Watch this space!
POSTPONED EVENT – Sunday 24 March 2019
It is with deep regret that the Grand Re-Opening event of the Brookside Miniature Railway, Brookside Garden Centre, Poynton, has been postponed.
This is due to the exceptionally inclement weather causing water damage against a perimeter retaining wall, alongside the track.
The event was the official re-opening of the railway since a group of local enthusiasts took on the closed popular miniature line. Railway rides, a vintage funfair and a jazz band were all going to be free for the public on the day, but donations were being requested for the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. The Mayor of Poynton was scheduled to ask the Mayor of Stockport and the Mayor of Cheshire East to cut the ribbon on the railway bridge over the brook which forms the boundary between the two counties.
Andy Prior, the railway site manager, said “The high volumes of rainwater are about to push over a long retaining wall onto the railway. Of course safety is paramount and we simply can’t run trains. Everyone is devastated. So many people have worked so hard for the event”.
The railway is currently working with the Klondyke Group, the Garden Centre owners, and specialist professionals to rectify the problem – The railway will be open as soon as possible.
Andy added “Like a lot of other facilities and businesses in the area, we’ve suffered from far too much rain in the past week. Even local roads are still closed due to flooding.”
PRESS RELEASE from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity
Puffs of smoke and the toot toots of miniature trains are once again a familiar scene in Poynton thanks to a troop of local enthusiasts who didn’t want to lose an iconic attraction.
When Brookside Miniature Railway closed suddenly in September 2018, many visitors voiced their disappointment at losing such a well-loved venue. But now a band of local enthusiasts have worked hard to replace bridges and relay track and will be hosting a Grand Re-Opening on Sunday, 24th March.
The volunteers have put in months of hard work to revamp the site and have welcomed visitors back every weekend since late 2018. But they decided an official re-opening would be a fitting way to announce Brookside Miniature Railway was back in business.
The entire day will be free for visitors, who will be able to enjoy train rides, Keelings Vintage Fun Fair and music from Mad Ed’s Hot Five Jazz Band. Instead of paying for train rides or vintage rides, visitors will be asked to make a donation to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, whose mascot, Humphrey Bear, will also be attending.
Chris MacKenzie MBE, one of the railway directors, said: “The event started off as simple ‘we’re back in business’ but then volunteers decided it would be great to make the entire event free, but with voluntary donations to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity.
“When others heard what we were planning, they also offered their services for free; stewarding, providing funfair rides, musicians, charity collections – the list is endless.
“Of course the Brookside Garden Centre staff from Klondike-Strikes have also been very supportive.
“I find it encouraging how so many people from the community are keen to get involved and help a charity that’s so important to local families.”
The Grand Re-Opening will be held from 11am to 4pm. As the railway crosses over the boundary between Stockport and Poynton, the mayor of Poynton, Sarah-Jane Gilmore will invite both mayors from either side of the border to jointly cut the ribbon at 2pm. Mayor of Cheshire East Councillor Lesley Smetham will share the ceremony with Mayor and Mayoress of Stockport, Councillor Walter Brett and Mrs Maureen Brett.
Andy Prior, the railway’s Site Manager, said: “We chose the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity because many of our customers are children. It’s nice to give something back to a charity benefitting children, especially those who really need it.”
Collections on the day will all go to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity. After the re-opening day, normal fees will apply and a train ticket will cost £2.
Jo Thomas, Community Fundraiser at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Our volunteer donation collectors, and of course Humphrey, can’t wait to meet all the young visitors at the Grand Re-Opening.
“We’re so touched the volunteers chose to ask for donations instead of selling tickets – it really does mean a great deal to us.
“We hope the day is a big success and encourage children and families to go along and have some fun.”
Just a bit of an update as so many have been asking what’s happening.
This month we moved to only opening to the public at weekends (Saturdays & Sundays only – 11 to 4). This is to allow us time to do some essential repairs and improvements before Spring.
Already we’ve built a new noticeboard pictured above (with volunteer Peter looking very dapper). Just awaiting the new posters now. It’s amazing what you can build from things found in skips!
There’s a team getting ready to start on the track along the tramway section (by the old conservatory sales area). The worn rails need repair and the tarmac sorted out so that steam loco’s can be run without damaging themselves.
The same teams already finished the first bridge over the river, so that looks great now. Just one more bridge to do, so we can start running over that as well.
A couple of us are spending every spare minute refitting the station gift shop. No spoiler alerts here, but it’s going to look fantastic!
Never let it be said that we don’t look after our volunteers. As soon as we finish the shop we’ll be creating a staff room in the old signal box. We just need electrics and water putting in, together with kitchen units, plaster-boarding, emulsioning etc etc etc.
Quotes are coming in to repave the main station platforms and repair the station fencing. This was such a big job we decided it was best left to the professionals (I think a bag of cement must be heavier than it was 40 years ago...).
Some volunteers are busy clearing leaves and general tiding all round the line. Already the loco shed viewing area has been cleared and jet-washed – it just needs repainting when the weather gets a bit better (and direction signs for the public making and installing).
The “Fairground Loop” halt has been cleared (we found paving stones under it all!) but there’s still so much to do there, including repainting.
Has anyone got any knowledge of restoring a red K6 telephone box? That needs doing soon.
On the loco front, we’ve started negotiations with people who may be bringing their steam engines to run on the line. Fingers crossed! Our own new diesel should be here in a few weeks and the new coaches should be arriving before February.
If you wish to become involved and have a few hours a week to join the volunteers, please speak to Andy, the Railway Manager. As you can see, we need all types of skills, abilities and knowledge. Unfortunately we can’t have children and young people helping us for all sorts of administrative reasons, but we plan to change that in a few months.
Your railway needs you!
07818 070 723
After a huge clean up operation Brookside Miniature Railway is open again with a new operator.
This was days earlier than expected – mainly due to the extremely hard work of the volunteers who slogged away clearing leaves, jet washing, mending track and building new bridges to make it all safer.
It is our intention to keep working away to restore the railway back to the beautiful and charismatic line created by Chris Halsall. Although we are a private company (working alongside the Garden Centre owners) we couldn’t survive without our friends (including many of the original staff) and family helping out. Thank you to all.
Although we didn’t have enough time this year to plan special trains to Santa’s grotto, we’re giving rides as normal - every Wednesday to Sunday until Christmas. In the New Year we’ll be running just at weekends whilst we do further refurbishment. So please bear with us during this time. There will then be a Grand Re-Opening event in early Spring - details to be made public when we know them.
We are keeping the price the same (£2 all classes).
So please come to see us and ask any questions. I can’t promise to answer all the questions on our Facebook page as all our spare time is taken up at the railway. Better still, why not come along and see what you can do to help!
Chris MacKenzie MBE
Brookside Garden Centre, London Road North, Poynton, Stockport, Cheshire SK12 1BY
07818 070 723 - email@example.com