It is doubtful if in the railway mania of the 1840′s anyone could have foreseen that less than 120 years later, many lines promoted at that time would have fallen into disuse. In 1846 the Directors of the original East Lancashire Railway could have no idea that the name of their railway would disappear in 1859, only to reappear 110 years later first as a preservation dream and 18 years later as a heritage railway reality, operated by volunteers. Since the original re-opening in 1987 the extent of the days when the railway operates has grown. The railway runs every weekend and Bank Holiday throughout the year, other than Christmas Day. Midweek the railway runs on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from May to September, at Easter and at October half-term.