Page last updated at 12:27 GMT, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Historic canopy saved for railway

Oldham Mumps canopy
The canopy will be taken down and later restored

An historic piece of a railway station in Greater Manchester has been saved.

The canopy at Oldham Mumps station was going to be scrapped as part of the station's transformation into a Metrolink tram stop.

But it is now going to be bought by the East Lancashire Railway (ELR), which hopes to refurbish it to install at Bury Bolton Road station.

The company, which runs a heritage railway line, is continuing an appeal to raise funds for the work.

An agreement was reached between MPact-Thales, the consortium converting the Oldham and Rochdale Loop Line to Metrolink, and the ELR to take the canopies down with care.

We are hopeful that it won't be too long before we can start putting them back up
Andy Coward, ELR General Manager

The wrought iron railings that lead passengers up to the platform are also being retained by the ELR.

Keith Whitmore, Chair of Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Authority (GMITA), hailed the agreement as "great news".

"The canopies have a lot of local significance because they are a symbol of the historical Oldham and Rochdale railway line, which will soon become a brand new Metrolink line," he said.

"I am delighted that an agreement has now been reached that will see the canopies restored to their former glory on the East Lancashire Railway."

ELR said the structure was architecturally similar to canopies which previously stood on the heritage route between Heywood and Rawtenstall.

Andy Coward, ELR General Manager, said they secured the canopy at a "greatly reduced price".

"The reduction in the cost of securing them will greatly aid us in raising the cost of purchase and transporting them back to our premises in Bury," he said.

"We are hopeful that it won't be too long before we can start putting them back up."

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