CAMPAIGNERS are rejoicing after plans to demolish Prestatyn signal box were thrown out.

The historic build, which has been decommissioned, was due to be reduced to rubble as part of the £50-million North Wales Railway Upgrade Project which will see the implementation of a “modern signalling system” between Shotton and Colwyn Bay.

Prestatyn signal box has been in operation for 120 years.

Network Rail have now thrown their support behind campaigners after a petition and Facebook group was set up to save the box from the wrecking ball. A meeting was also held with members of the community members last Friday.

Some of the ideas being proposed for the box include a visitor attraction, such as a railway heritage centre, which would link the old railway line with the signal box.

Cllr Anton Sampson, who was behind the Facebook campaign, said: “This is fantastic news and a formalised plan will be presented in the coming weeks.

“If all parties are in agreement, then we will have acquired a great community asset for our town for many years to come.

“The signal box is an important part of Prestatyn’s heritage and we are thrilled Network Rail have given us the opportunity to preserve it.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Following positive meetings with locally elected representatives and members of the community on Friday, we are delighted to be able to support their proposals to preserve Prestatyn signal box and we will now work closely with them to support taking these plans forward.”

Chris Ruane, MP for Vale of Clwyd, added: “If we can preserve the signal box and connect the Prestatyn/Dyserth railway and Offa’s Dyke footpath direct to the railway station, this will help promote and develop the theme of Prestatyn as a ‘walkers welcome’ town.”

Residents have also raised fears about signal boxes in Abergele and Pensarn and Rhyl.

Pensarn resident and train enthusiast Neil Buchanan said: “It is not just Pensarn box I’m concerned about but all the boxes across North Wales.

"In terms of heritage, they are worth their weight in gold. I can’t understand why they are trying to get rid of them.

“There is no safety without these boxes, only cctv cameras.”

The spokesperson from Network Rail added: "Rhyl and Abergele and Pensarn signal boxes are listed structures and will be preserved.”