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.
|12 April 2019||
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
See you there!
|3 April 2019||
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!
|19 Mar 2019||
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.”
|25 Feb 2019||
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.”
|15 Jan 2019||
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!
|2 Dec 2018||
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 1BZ
07818 070 723 - email@example.com