UK Rail Minister, Andrew Jones MP, and Chris Green MP visited Bolton railway station to celebrate the government’s new pacer train competition.
The competition, which runs until the end of September, gives local groups a chance to transform old pacer trains into new community spaces. Pupils from St. Catherine's Primary School in Horwich also joined Mr Green and the Minister to share their ideas for how the pacer trains can be put to good use locally.
During the visit, Mr Green and the Rail Minister also highlighted the recent improvements to local rail services and after 30 years in service, pacers will be taken off our tracks this year and replaced by new and refurbished trains across the North West.
MP for Bolton and West and Atherton, Chris Green, said: "It's a great to finally see the long-awaited improvements to Bolton station and our local railway services, including the rolling out of electric trains, more regular services and the new art gallery and learning space on platform five.
"Not only this, the improvements to our railway station work hand in hand with the regeneration of our town centre and it will be great to also see the old pacer being put to good use as community spaces."
Andrew Jones MP added: "The big picture is that we're renewing the rolling stock right across the north of England.
"It's an exciting moment. No Transport Minister in generations has been able to say that every train in the north will be either new or refurbished to new and these changes will be in place only a few months from now."
Bolton Conservative Councillor, Stuart Haslam, Cabinet Member for highways and transport. also praised the local rail improvements: "I'm very pleased to be welcoming new and updated trains to Bolton station. It is all part of our regeneration project to bring more life back to Bolton.
"It's a tremendous investment in Bolton, and despite the hiccups along the way things are now more positive and we hope it will continue that way.
For further information about the pacer train competition and to apply for a pacer train, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.