A TREAT is in store for railway enthusiasts this weekend.

There will be the chance to see progress on a restoration project in Bishops Castle.

An open day is being run in Station Street opposite the Cattle Market on Saturday between 10am and 5pm.

People will be able to tour the site, learn how a mechanical weighbridge works and weigh a Chieftain lorry.

People will also be able to play a part in collecting stories and photographs of the history of railways in Bishops Castle.

Enthusiasts are restoring the last remaining railway building on the site of the Bishop`s Castle Railway. A railway which ran from 1865 to 1935 despite being in receivership for 68 of the 70 years.

The railway has a mixed history: “I have never seen in England

or elsewhere a railway in such bad condition,” said Col Yorke, a Board of Trade inspector of railways in 1895.

Things were as bad three years later: “I consider that the public are exposed to constant danger in travelling on the line,” reported Major Marindin, Board of Trade Inspector of Railways in 1878.

Heritage Open Days are coordinated and promoted nationally by the National Trust with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery and run locally by a large range of organisations (including civic societies, heritage organisations, and local councils, community champions and thousands of enthusiastic volunteers).

Railways used to play a key role in rural transport.

The main line in south Shropshire links Hereford in the south with Shrewsbury in the North. It is still an important commuter route for people getting to work and for students travelling to school and college.

But at one time, up until the end of the second world war the railway was the most important way in which freight was moved around the country.

In Shropshire is was a carrier

of milk and other agricultural produce.

The railway was heavily used

during the Second World War leaving a legacy of neglect of maintenance.

This was followed by a period in which road transport largely

replaced the railways as private

cars became more common and hauliers switched from track to

tarmac and there were major cuts in the 1960s with many branch lines closing

In recent years railways have seen a revival linked to be more environmentally aware and cut pollution.