Altrincham Electric Railway Preservation Society

The Society was formed in 1970 to save some of the 1931 'Altrincham Electric' rolling stock from the Manchester South junction & Altrincham Railway (MSJ&AR) upon replacement by the 25 kV ac stock. However the AERPS also exists to gather and preserve other items connected with the MSJ&AR, and to foster a general interest in railways in the area of the line and elsewhere.

MSJ&AR - In 1931 the line was electrified to the 1500 volt dc overhead system and the 3-car multiple units built remained in use until 1971. In May of that year the line was converted to the, now standard, 25 kV ac electric system which enabled trains from Altrincham to run beyond Manchester to Stockport and Crewe. The line underwent a further change in 1992 when most of it became part of the 750 volt dc Metrolink light rail system which operates on-street through the city centre of Manchester and out to Bury. The remaining sections are still part of the national rail network.

AERPS - A few months after withdrawal two centre trailer coaches (MSJ&AR Nos. 117 and 121 [BR M29666 and M29670]) were purchased by the AERPS for preservation. In 1983 he coaches were transferred to the Midland Railway Centre (now Midland Railway-Butterley) at Butterley in Derbyshire. Both coaches are now kept undercover in the large Matthew Kirtley Museum building and are on display to the public.

During 1990s major restoration work was carried out on the coaches beginning with the replacement of the steel panelling and roof repairs. However further work needs to be carried out including refitting and re-upholstery of the compartments, and the fitting of vacuum brakes. The Society recently made an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

MSJ&AR HISTORY & MEMORABILIA - Since its formation the Society and some of its members have built up collections of relics and other items connected with the line. These include books, photographs, drawings, signs and signals which it is hoped will one day form the nucleus of a museum display. Some members also take an interest in the history of the line and this has included writing books and photographing the line. The Society was successful in getting Brooklands and Deansgate stations listed as buildings of special architectural interest. During 1999 the Society took a leading role in the MSJ&AR 150 celebrations publishing a booklet and unveiling a plaque at Altrincham Station. The 75th anniversary of electrification was marked in 2006. In 2010 the Society launched a campaign to save the canopies at Altrincham station which are threatened by the proposed redevelopment of the Interchange.

ACTIVITIES - By joining the AERPS you can help preserve two historic MSJ&AR coaches. Working parties are arranged periodically to undertake maintenance and restoration work.

The Society is a Registered Charity (No. 1093098), a corporate member of the Midland Railway Trust and a member of the Heritage Railway Association.

The Society also arranges events of a more general nature such as the Winter Lecture Series in Altrincham (October - April), Spring and Autumn coach trips and social events.

A magazine, LIVE WIRES, is published and the Society has a web site.

You will find an application form to join the Society on the AERPS website