A piece of artwork which sits at the entrance to a huge retail park has been described as ‘so corroded even scrap merchants won’t touch it’.

When installed, the ‘Ghost Train’ feature which sits at one of the entrances to the Middlebrook complex in Horwich, was deemed to be a symbol of the town’s railway locomotive building past.

The ‘ghost train’ depicts a train engine emerging from the ground pointing upwards and when originally built, on a roundabout near the current Tesco store, was a gleaming white colour.

However over the years the paint and metal has deteriorated.

The Bolton News: Ghost Train2

The matter was brought before Bolton’s full council by Horwich and Blackrod First councillor, David Grant.

He, said: “No care and attention has been given to the 'Ghost Train' that sits at the entrance to the largest retail space in the country.

“It should also be a historical reminder of the town of Horwich’s historic contribution to the railways but is instead a rusted, hole ridden bit of scrap metal so corroded even the local scrap merchants won’t touch it.

“The ghost train was not galvanised and has deteriorated to the extent that it is simply a rusted train wreck on a roundabout contributing to the image of decline to our area.

“It shows a distinct lack of appreciation to a town’s history, culture, and image.”

Cllr Grant suggested placing conditions with homes developers from new estate projects in Horwich to contribute to improving the artwork.

Middlebrook bills itself as ‘the largest integrated and sustainable employment, leisure, sports and retail scheme in the UK’.

Responding to Cllr Grant’s question, cabinet member Nadeem Ayub, said: “There have been positive discussions between the council and developers and those parties are seeking to improve the Ghost Train through social value opportunities.

“In the meantime I’ve asked officers to assess the work on how we can refurbish it to both bring ot back to its former glory and protect it from deterioration.”