ACCRINGTON now gives a good first impression to visitors arriving by rail after the town's new train station opened.

The modern-looking, eco-friendly facility replaces its dilapidated predecessor.

And it is next to the new Tesco super-store, which opened late last month, bringing new life to that part of the town centre.

Unveilling the state-of-the art building yesterday, Hyndburn's mayor Coun Malcolm Pritchard said the environmentally-frien-dly facility would transform rail visitor's first impression of the town.

Addressing Lancashire County Councillors and representatives from Northern Rail to the Eagle Street station yesterday, he said: "In the space of a year this gateway into the town has been transformed through the development of a railway station and a supermarket.

"It is an important step forward in the continuing regeneration of the town."

He added: "First impressions of a place are very important and I am sure many will be impressed by the high quality design of the railway station."

Clayton-le-Moors woman Paula Brierley, 35, was one of the first to pass through following the ceremony.

She said: "I think it's brilliant. I work in Tesco so it's ideal for me.

“I think it makes the whole area look much smarter."

The new building also includes a disabled toilet and a new educational room where schools and colleges can learn about environmental design in the station's basement.

Power is provided by wind turbines and solar panels while rainwater is used for the sinks and toilets.

Displays inside the new building also explain these features to rail users.

The station, which is owned by Lancashire County Council and leased by Northern Rail, is the first in Hyndburn to gain an excellent rating under the BREEAM international environmental standard.