MODEL railway enthusiasts have had a huge weight lifted off their shoulders thanks to a very welcome grant.

Handforth Model Engineering Society is based at Meriton Road Park, where it has three tracks used to run four locomotives.

Getting the engines onto the tracks has been a problem because of their weight, a problem which has been solved with the support of Handforth Parish Council.

The society has spent £1,300 on two sets of lifting gear to make the task easier, with the parish council contributing £1,000 towards the cost of the equipment.

Society chairman John Coghlan said: “Getting the locomotives weighing nearly a third of a ton onto the track was becoming a problem as many of our members are retired.

“Previously we had to manhandle them on a trolley around the building to a loading ramp.

“Now we can be running in as little as seven minutes. We hope this will allow more regular running for the families in Handforth who support us by riding the trains.

“Since receiving the grant we have been working hard to get the new system up and running for the summer season.”

The society runs rides in the carriages on Sunday mornings when the weather is fine, from about 10am to mid-afternoon. Donations for the rides are accepted.