A TRAINSPOTTER who has watched Bolton trains from the same spot for 40 years has been left frustrated after a wall was built blocking his view of the tracks.
David Hutchinson used to watch trains from the bridge in Moor Lane, near Bolton Central Fire Station in the town centre, three times a week.
But last week he was shocked to see huge concrete blocks had been cemented on the top of the wall, blocking his view of the trains.
The blocks have been erected by Network Rail for safety reasons ahead of plans to electrify the line in 2016.
Mr Hutchinson said he was devastated by the move.
The 53-year-old, from Halliwell, says he loves watching the trains go by and always carries a pair of binoculars and a notebook to write down the numbers of the trains as they go past.
He usually meets several friends at the spot to watch the trains, and says the bridge is the only vantage point where he can see the trains moving slowly enough to be able to read their numbers.
Mr Hutchinson, who suffers from epilepsy and is unable to work, also watches the buses from the spot as they drive to and from the nearby Moor Lane Bus Station. On Sundays, the transport fan also watches aeroplanes near Manchester Airport.
He said: “I think the bridge should be kept clear. You can’t see over the blocks and it means you can’t see the trains. I want them to be taken down, it is really frustrating.”
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We have increased the height of the bridge parapets at this location in preparation for the electrification of the route in four years’ time.
“It’s a safety requirement to help keep people safe and away from the 25,000 volts in the overhead electric wires that will one day be strung underneath this bridge.”