THE sun shone as passengers and visitors along the Hooton and Helsby Line celebrated 150 years of rail travel.
Northern Rail, Merseyrail, Cheshire West and Chester Council, North Cheshire Rail User Group and Station Friends worked together on a day of celebrations.
Visitors enjoyed the Mersey Morris Men dancing at Ellesmere Port Station and a miniature steam engine at Helsby. The council’s ITravelSmart Team were also on hand, micro chipping bikes for free and encouraging people to use public transport.
A special train ran between Hooton and Helsby, taking people over to Liverpool Lime Street via Frodsham and the Halton Curve.
Among the civic dignitaries who attended on the day were Mayor of Ellesmere Port Cllr Bob Crompton, Andrew Miller MP, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council Cllr Mike Jones and St Paul’s councillor Angela Claydon.
Cllr Crompton, said: “I have enjoyed being part of these historic celebrations – a good rail network is key to economic growth in the area and it was heartening to see so many people on the train and along the line who are passionate about rail.”
Cllr Jones said: “Ellesmere Port Railway Station is a key gateway to the town and it is fantastic to see how it is being transformed by Station Friends and creative partnership working with the Council and Merseyrail.
“I am delighted to see the investment in Ellesmere Port which is really starting to show.
“With improvement like this we are seeing Ellesmere Port grow in confidence and it is attracting inward investment to create jobs. The railway stations are very important in attracting people to the town. Thank you to all those involved.”
Cllr Claydon, a Friend of Little Sutton Station, added: “The volunteers worked really hard along the line to make the special day a memorable occasion.”