THE Mid Cheshire Rail Users Association (MCRUA) which exists to protect the interest of passengers on the Chester – Manchester line and meets regularly with operating company, Northern Rail, is planning a 25th anniversary rail tour on Saturday, May 5th.

John Hanson, the Association’s treasurer, said: “We have organised day trips for years but we are working especially hard on this one.

“This time there will be three choices of destination and tickets are selling well.”

The train, which will leave Altrincham station at approximately 7.40 am, will arrive in Lincoln at lunchtime where passengers may alight. Alternatively, for an extra £3.95 or £12.50 with lunch, people can tour the historic Batemans Real Ale brewery at Wainfleet or continue to Skegness.

There will be a buffet car and trolley service and a silver anniversary raffle.

MCRUA was formed in 1987 when the Metrolink was planned. There was much campaigning to maintain at least the same level of service, this time via Stockport rather than Sale, enabling main line connections.

“We are now pressing to increase trains to more than one an hour,” said Mr Hanson.

The Association’s greatest achievement was its role in the formation of the Mid-Cheshire Community Rail Partnership which it has part-funded since 2003.

They run jazz trains to Alexander’s wine bar in Chester. Their annual ghost train from Altrincham and Hale is especially popular with children.

* For tickets on The Lincolnshire Poacher, priced £59 standard, £53 seniors and £39 children contact or ring 0161 283 3384. First class is available.