And this is what the area looked like on 15 August 2010.

The original plans drawn up by Railtrack estimated that this upgrade would cost 2bn, be ready by 2005, and cut journey times from London to Birmingham to 1hr (currently 1hr 40mins) and 1hr 45mins from London to Manchester.

This would be achieved through increasing the line speed to 225 km/h (140 mph), in place of the previous maximum of 175 km/h (110 mph).

He had to go to homes of the staff on early turns and tap on the bedroom window with the pole to wake up the driver/fireman!

Grandfather tells me the story of an incident in the 30s when a tank engine somehow ended up in the turntable pit on its side.

Paul has kindly supplied these two photos taken around the 1980s.

I also remember as a small boy standing with my mother and/or my grandmother at a bus stop on the town centre side of Central station bridge and regularly seeing a steam engine, normally a Black 5, stabled behind the station wall where Midland Way runs now.

My grandmother would take me to Bank Quay and when his train came in Id get on and do 2 or 3 trips with him sitting along side him in the drivers compartment.

Later he moved on to shunters at Froghall Lane, Walton Old Junction and Arpley sidings.

These lines, together with the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the Northern Union Railway and the Manchester and Birmingham Railway amalgamated in 1846 to form the London and North Western Railway (LNWR).