We have launched a fundraiser to help secure the future of our 168-year-old engineering workshop that has links to the Flying Scotsman.

We are rallying supporters to back the campaign to renovate the workshop roof at the Buckley Wells rail depot in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Our Baron Street engineering workshop, which restores and maintains prized locomotives, including the Flying Scotsman, is believed to be the world’s oldest rail workshop that it still in use for its original purpose.

Sadly the Grade II-listed repair shop’s future is in doubt unless we are able to secure the £75,000 needed to fix the roof fabric and internal timber structure.

The Raise Our Roof fundraiser has been set up as part of a project to secure a £2 million grant from the Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to help pay for workshop repairs and also preserve the Higher Woodhill Viaduct.

Steam trains have been travelling through the beautiful Irwell Valley for the past 175 years and we need to prove we have enough community support to secure government funding.

Built in 1856, the Baron Street engineering workshop has served as our main workshop and over the years 16 locomotives were built there after being taken over by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

It was used as a carriage repair shed from 1889 to 1916 and then became a maintenance facility for trains which operated between Bury and Manchester Victoria for more than 70 years.

The workshop had a narrow escape in 1967 when Buckley Wells started to be demolished after passenger services stopped.

Our volunteers saved  the railway, and Baron Street Workshop played a critical role in the restoration of traction and rolling stock to support the launch of the first passenger service in 1987. To this day the workshop remains a critical part of the ELR’s engineering facility to restore and repair the ELR’s traction and rolling stock.

Our chairman, Mike Kelly, said: “Like all heritage assets there is always maintenance and repair work to be undertaken.

“The ELR has for over 50 years managed the railway’s maintenance and we have made considerable improvements to improve Health and Safety, IT, welfare and customer services.

“The Baron Street workshop is one of our “jewels in the crown” and is steeped in history, on a walk through the building you can imagine the noise and flurry of locomotives moving in and out of the workshop and being there at the dawn of the railways.

“The roof, whilst being maintained, now needs a serious investment to restore it, not just to its original condition but to take the opportunity to install solar panels to reduce electricity and therefore reduce carbon levels”.

You can back our campaign here.