TRAIN enthusiasts and families flocked to see the opening of the East Lancashire Railway’s seventh station, Burrs Country Park, as the Flying Scotsman became the first engine to call at the new stop.

Flying Scotsman departed from Bury Bolton Street Station and arrived at Burrs Country Park Station.

Once at Burrs Country Park Station there was a ceremony with the Mayor of Bury, councillor Mike Connolly, to officially open the station.

After the ceremony was the return journey to Rawtenstall before the train arrived back at Bury Bolton Street Station.

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Mike Kelly, chairman of the East Lancashire Railway said how pleased the railway was to open its seventh station at Burrs Country Park as well as being honoured to welcome back the world famous Flying Scotsman for the second time this year.

There was also a display from Woodbank Primary School, the nearest school to Burrs Country Park, which has put together a project on Flying Scotsman and the new station.

The new station, which will become the popular heritage railway’s seventh calling point, enables visitors to the country park to board steam and diesel train services to Heywood, Bury, Summerseat, Ramsbottom, Irwell Vale and Rawtenstall.

The park currently attracts over 350,000 visitors each year and this figure is expected to increase with the development of the new station, which is the centre piece of Bury Council’s ‘Burrs Country Park Development Strategy 2015-2029’.

The strategy aims to establish Burrs as a ‘destination park’, a key element of Bury’s growing tourism portfolio and a regional attraction, and the council hopes the new East Lancashire Railway station will support this vision by encouraging a new set of visitors to explore the park and its array of attractions, including the Irwell Sculpture Trail, Activity Centre and Caravan Club site.

East Lancashire Railway Chairman, Mike Kelly, said the community is at the heart of the new station.

“As a heritage attraction, we hope that the new Burrs Country Park Station will encourage a new set of visitors to engage with the railway, understand its important history and heritage and the essential need to protect it for future generations,” he said.

“We are very lucky to have such a fantastic asset on our doorstep and look forward to showcasing it to our passengers.”

Hilary Marshall, chair of Friends of Burrs Country Park, said: “We are delighted to work with the East Lancashire Railway on the new station project and hope that the halt will encourage even more people to explore the delights of the park.”