Castle Park signals its rail links
17 June 2019Following the re-opening of the Halton Curve last month the celebrations continued in Frodsham’s Castle Park on Friday (14 June) with new railway heritage installations.
The railway line from Frodsham to Chester runs parallel to the Castle Park boundary. During the works on the Halton Curve line, Network Rail created new access steps from the Fountain Lane entrance in Castle Park.
The Castle Park Trust and Cheshire West and Chester Council were also gifted two semaphore signals and three leavers from the decommissioned signal box at Frodsham station to display in the park.
The foundation and installation designs were drawn up by Network Rail and their contractors for the semaphores and levers.
The historic items have been restored with the help of local Members budgets, including all of the paint work, cleaning and welding. The levers and one of the semaphores has been placed in Castle Park near to the Fountains Lane entrance and the other by the Chester Road entrance.
Installation of the signals and levers was carried out by Network Rail and the Council’s Streecare and Environment Commissioning team.
Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Greenspaces said: “The opening is to celebrate and thank all those who have been involved in the project and to now let people see and enjoy these pieces of local railway history in their new Castle Park home.
“I’d like to particularly thank Castle Park Trustees and North Cheshire Rail Users Group who saw the opportunity to ask Network Rail if there could be any equipment gifted to them for historical display. Also thanks to Network Rail for everything they have done for the Park.”
Andrew Maxwell, senior construction manager from Network Rail, was instrumental in the project. Andrew is involved in the historical Llangollen Railway and has a particular interest in restoration; he was involved in the whole project from start to finish.
Andrew said: “My team and I are involved in many major projects to prepare the railway for the next generation, like our Halton Curve upgrade, which is part of the Great North Rail Project.
At the same time, it’ important to remember our railway’s rich heritage. Preserving railway history is something I’m incredibly passionate about. It’s great to think that the signals will be enjoyed by visitors to Castle Park for years to come.”
With the help of the North Cheshire Rail Users Group, new heritage boards are also planned to explain the background of the installations and the parks railway connections.