One of East Lancashire Railway’s (ELR) star attractions, Bury Transport Museum, has reopened with a once in a lifetime display.

The museum recreates what life was like for people travelling in the industrial North West throughout the 20th century.

It showcases historic vehicles of every shape and size.

Guests can now get up close and personal with an iconic locomotive from the golden age of steam, with The Union of South Africa in residence in a never before seen static display.

The iconic Union of South Africa steam locomotive is one of only six surviving A4’s, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley for the London and North-eastern Railway in 1935, making this a unique opportunity for rail enthusiasts and families alike.

Their unique streamlined design was ground-breaking and gave them high-speed capability, and one of the class, 4468 Mallard, still holds the world record as the fastest steam locomotive at 126mph.

This is the first time the Union of South Africa has been displayed for public access for any length of time at one single site.

This makes it a once in a lifetime opportunity for people to explore the footplate of this impressive locomotive.

ELR chairman Mike Kelly said: “We have enjoyed, over several years, seeing and riding behind this icon of the rails, one of six surviving A4 Gresley creations.

“Now we have the unique honour to have been entrusted to host the Union of South Africa for the remainder of 2022 as it retires from steam and makes its first static appearance for people to admire and enjoy up close and personal.

“This is truly a fantastic opportunity for people to get on the footplate of an iconic locomotive - and will be something not to be missed for adults and children alike.”

The Bury Transport Museum is now open to the public with tickets available to purchase on the day.

Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children and can be used to gain entry to the museum for a 12-month period.

The museum will also host four exclusive evening events with John Cameron the owner of the Union of South Africa, throughout 2022, offering guests an opportunity to learn more about the iconic engine.

Mike added: “The industrial heritage of the Northwest is truly brought to life before your very eyes at the museum, and we’ve enhanced the offering with new children's activities and a host of special events planned throughout the year.

“During the school holidays, we will be hosting events including drop-in craft workshops, and we can also organise special visits for school groups in term-time, so there really is something for everyone.”

Full details on upcoming events, including the evenings with John Cameron will be available shortly.

For more information, all ticket prices, and event details visit