Chris opens lines of enquiry to launch model railway club

A DOBCROSS teenager has done what transport bosses steadfastly refuse to consider and has re-opened Diggle Station.

Half a century after the last trains pulled away from the once busy platforms on Station Road, they are running again.

Unfortunately for rail enthusiasts and supporters of initiatives to return Diggle to the national network, Chris Nicholls’ ‘success’ comes in miniature.

For nine months Chris, 19, has worked on a project to build a scaled down version of the station, its trains and passengers in a work shed in the garden of his home on Platt Road.

But unlike the real thing at Greenfield Station, with a flick of a switch his engines and carriages leave bang on time.

Now, the greenkeeper at Saddleworth Golf Club wants to expand and share his hobby with like-minded model makers in the area.

“After seeing one of my layouts someone mentioned why I didn’t start a Model Railway Society in Saddleworth,” explained the former Rishworth School pupil.

“I have had a couple of people show an interest but there’s nothing concrete yet.

“Ideally, we would need around 10 people upwards and there are more people out there interested in model railways than you might think,” said Chris who has built another track in his garden complete with a miniature steam engine.

“Me and a friend of mine go to exhibitions all over the country and there’s a chap just up the road who I didn’t know was interested until he came to the house to look at one of the layouts.”

Chris, who is also a keen meteorologist, has spent around £100 and probably as many hours re-creating his step back in time at the Diggle halt.

The 12ft long model board comes complete with the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the three Standedge rail tunnels.

“It was interesting researching the station,” said Chris.

“Looking back at old maps there used to be level crossing to get across to Kiln Green rather than the road bridge which is there now.

“Opening Diggle station for real would probably solve a lot of problems,” he added.

Both Diggle – opened in 1849 – and Saddleworth Stations closed on October 7, 1968.

Cllr Garth Harkness said: “I would support re-opening of Diggle station. There is a lot wrong with the trains at the moment. The operators need to be challenged and we need trains back to Victoria.”

Anyone interested in joining Chris’s Model Railway Society can contact him on 07914 599482.

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