ANOTHER record year has been notched up by volunteers on the East Lancashire Railway.

Staff and volunteers on the heritage railway, which runs from Rawtenstall to Ramsbottom and through to Bury, broke the 200,000 passenger mark for 2018, according to board chairman Mike Kelly.

For the previous year, 189,000 tickets were sold - but this had risen by 8.5 per cent to 205,000 for the past year.

Though it has been noted by officials that the past year's figures have included extensive access to the Flying Scotsman, which is not scheduled to visit this year.

And their Santa Specials, which run between Christmas and New Year, rocketed by 12 per cent to 41,000, Mr Kelly has revealed.

Revenues from their buffets and pubs, including the Buffer Stops bar at Rawtenstall, rose by 22 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Several improvement schemes are in the pipeline for 2019, the ELR board has heard.

These include an upgrade to the pedestrian walkway serving the level crossing, and the gate mechanisms themselves, both at Ramsbottom.

Other renewal works are also planned for Townsend Fold's level crossing.