The new general manager of the East Lancashire Railway will be a familiar face to fans of the trains… he’s been volunteering since he was 12!
Lee Kenny (pictured) impressed during his eight-month spell as acting general manager at the heritage railway visitor attraction, which runs from Rawtenstall in Lancashire to Heywood in Greater Manchester.
He was previously deputy general manager and has been part of the organisation for more than three decades.
The former diesel traction engineering fitter was ever present in the traction and rolling stock department before becoming head of the department 12 years ago.
Lee said: “I am delighted to be given this opportunity to lead the ELR as the general manager and thank the board for their support in my appointment.
“I have watched the railway grow from its infancy in the late 1980s to 2023 to the major tourist attraction it is today. Now I’ve been given the opportunity to take the ELR forward for many years to come.
“I look forward to continuing to work with our dedicated and very much valued team of volunteers and staff and continue to explore ways we can improve and better support them.
“Like many other heritage railways across the country, we face considerable challenges in sustainability, fundraising, improving safety, embracing equality, diversity and inclusion into our organisation and continue to grow our community and business partnerships. These will be very much our focus in the short to medium term.”
Chair of the ELR, Mike Kelly, said: “Lee stepped into the role last May as acting general manager at a very challenging time for the railway.
“Over those months Lee has shown great leadership and brought stability and successfully managed a number of very important events including our famous Santa Specials.”