Chris Lodington retires after 48 years ….

Posted on December 20th, 2012, by The Chairman

Many of you will know Chris Lodington. For years he’s been the Trains Manager at Chester, often boarding the 1st Chester-bound train at Cuddington and helping the conductor with the doors whilst they caught up with selling tickets. His regular train back from Chester was the 1607.

His leaving “do” was on 20 October (see below). Some of us had intended to meet with him on the evening of 18 October, but ATW were short-staffed and rostered him to work trains on his last day!

Andrew Williams, ATW Head of Conductors, writes ….

“Chris Lodington has recently taken a well deserved retirement from the rail industry after an incredible 48 years sterling service. Chris will be a familiar face to many of you as the railway was not only his chosen career, but also a way of life that he has a great passion and enthusiasm for.

Joining the erstwhile British Railways in 1964 when steam traction still had four years left to live and (just) pre-dating the now iconic ‘British Rail’ double arrow emblem, Chris’ railway career commenced as a young booking clerk on the Midland Main Line, a route that he spent many years working over, before moving to Liverpool Lime Street in the 1980’s and finally to Chester in 1991.

After a spell looking after the stations/booking office staff under the auspices of the Area Manager for Chester and North Wales, Chris later took up the position of Trains (later Conductor) Manager, still at Chester.

Naturally, Chris witnessed tremendous changes over so many years, from rationalisation to sectorisation and latterly privatisation, but never failed to rise to the challenge of doing so. And all done with the same commitment and ‘hands on’ approach throughout each new initiative or latest industry developments.

I think that Chris was a little sad in a way to ‘hang up his hat’ for the last time on October 19th – we were certainly sad to see him go, a fact supported by the ‘full to bursting’ attendance at his meticulously planned retirement bash on October 20th. This saw transportation arrangements in the form of a vintage Leyland Titan double decker bus from Liverpool and 1960’s hits playing on board, not to mention champagne, for good measure!

Chris with Liverpool Corporation L255 - (c) John Oates

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Chris during his last eight years on the railway and I am grateful for the local knowledge that he has shared with me during this time (particularly useful to me, as I originate from West Wales!). What Chris doesn’t know about traction, routes and, more importantly, local real ale hostelries (!) isn’t worth worrying about!

Chris has pledged to devote more time to his family and other interests, but I’m sure that he will remain a regular sight boarding Northern Rail services at Cuddington for many years to come!

I wish him and Maria the very best for the future ahead.”

We, in MCRUA, wish Chris the very best for retirement and look forward to seeing him “out and about” on the Mid Cheshire line.

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