Manuel Station – it’s open!

Manuel Station OpensA great opening event took place earlier this week for our new station at Manuel.

Michael Connarty, Westminster MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, arrived by steam train to open our new platform almost 50 years after the previous Manuel station on the Edinburgh and Glasgow main line was closed in 1967.

Among the invited guests were two with a special connection to Manuel.  One lady, Miss Rita Braes, joined British Railways as a Booking Clerk at the original Manuel Station  many years ago.   She was moved to Polmont when Manuel closed, where she spent the rest of her working career.

Miss Braes was delighted to have been invited to the opening of the new platform at Manuel and to her it means so much to be back to the station where she spent so many happy years.

Also stepping back on the platform at Manuel for the first time since 1967 was 79 year old Archie McLuckie, a former stationmaster at the station.    After the station closed, Archie moved up the ranks, via various positions in Glasgow, Cardiff and Leicester, before becoming Assistant Station Master at London’s St Pancras station, then at Euston.   His final promotion under British Railways was to Area Manager at Carlisle, where he remained until the railways were privatised.   Following privatisation, Archie was Head of Operations at Direct Rail Services until he finally retired in 2006.

Some 130 guests travelled on the opening train.   The opening of the station at Manuel completes the first phase of the original aim of the Bo’ness &  Kinneil Railway, to re-open the railway between the two locations, with a station at either end of the line.

PHOTO SHOWS L-R John Evans, SRPS Chairman, Michael Connarty MP, Archie McLuckie, Rita Braes and Mrs M Connarty.