This Grand Central trains “Farewell Special” organised by the Branch Line Society made an unscheduled stop at Reddish South today (Sun Dec 17th) which was a total surprise to the FoRSS members on the platform along with several other enthusiasts. We had the honour and privilage of briefly meeting many of them and they even included our banner draped over the front buffer on their photos and videos. Hope we can get to see some of them ! Many Thanks to the Branch Line Society and Grand Central Trains
Treasurer Dot and Technical Advisor Noel along with Friends of Denton Station Officials FoDS, had a great meeting today chaired by MP Andrew Gwynne, with TfGM Officials Amanda White & Jason Prince. Of course our joint aim with FoDS has always been to get passenger services along the line from Stockport to Manchester Victoria (and beyond both ) through Reddish South and Denton Stations. Our joint surveys have always shown that many hundreds of people want and need this alternative route to Central Manchester and these include hundreds in the Hazel Grove, Middlewood, Cheadle Hulme & Stockport areas as well of course as thousands in Reddish and Denton. The survey results prove all this.
Unfortunately despite continued support and pressure from several MP’s, many Councillors from Stockport and Tameside MBC’c and both FoRSS and FoDS it has always been TfGM that have not responded to all this effort , pressure or any survey results. So it was very refreshing indeed that today both Amanda White and Jason Prince from TfGM accepted that we had indeed had many meetings with Arriva North Trains and Network Rail and that both of these parties had been very positive for services along our line. Therefore they both agreed with Chairman Andrew Gwynne MP that we ALL need to meet together to further this progress to getting them. So it was agreed by all to meet again in May with Arriva North Trains and Network Rail. This meeting will be arranged by Andrew, probably at TfGM’s offices in Manchester and of course Amanda and Jason agreed to this.
This is at last some positive progress and we now feel that we will be listened to and that passenger services to Manchester Victoria would alleviate some of the chronic road traffic problems in East Manchester.
Stephen Forde Stockport MBC Community Rail Officer presented the members who were on the Station platform today, tidying and gardening, with our Best Kept Station award totem that will get pride of place on our picket fence.
It was a gloriously sunny warm day and we got lots of support with all our gardening and weeding and as well as getting our award we also got several local Councillors and even James Palmer the boss of Retro Railtours of Ashton under Lyne, who got stuck in with some much needed pruning.
Our Head Gardener Noel doled out the jobs and appropriate tools, and we got lots of work done in bringing down loads of cuttings and weeds. At about 11:00 Dot and Kim went to local cafe “Johnnies Cafe” on Gorton Road for the usual bacon and sausage butties and Dave brewed up for all the crew.
It was a great morning for gardening and some quality “networking” in our continued campaign for passenger services from our Station and from Denton Station too. We also managed to convince a few more people that the next Retro Railtour from Reddish South to Cardiff/Swansea will be worth going on ! MANY THANKS to everyone who turned up to help.