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THIS photograph records an historic occasion as station master Dave Russell greets the first passenger train to arrive at Rawtenstall Station following the re-opening of the line from Ramsbottom in 1991.
Four years earlier, the East Lancashire Railway had opened the stretch of line from Bury to Ramsbottom and now the volunteers had brought Rawtenstall Station back to life.
The station had closed after the withdrawal of the passenger service in 1972 although freight trains had continued to use the coal depot for a further eight years.
The whole line was officially closed in March 1982.
But thanks to the efforts of the preservation group, the station was once more welcoming trains and a year after this picture was taken, a new station building was opened on the site of the former Bacup line.
The locomotive pulling the passenger train proudly bore a special plaque - ‘East Lancs Rly Reopening Special - and hundreds of rail enthusiasts lined the platform to get a glimpse of this historic moment which occurred 29 years ago next week.
This article first appeared on www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk
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