A PROJECT that has been two years in the making has been launched to move a globally significant exhibition back to its historic home.

A huge part of Rainhill's history, the locomotive trials was a competition that took place in the village in 1829, which tested which trains would have the best power for the nearly-completed Liverpool to Manchester railway.

Stephenson's Rocket was the only locomotive to complete the trials and has become a symbol etched into Rainhill history.

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St Helens Star: Stephen's Rocket has become a symbol of Rainhill historyStephen's Rocket has become a symbol of Rainhill history (Image: Rainhill Heritage and Railway Society)

To mark the significance of the trials, an exhibition is currently housed inside a converted rail carriage on the grounds of Rainhill Library, on View Road.

However, with aims to give the exhibition a more prominent place in the village, a Community Interest Company has been formed with the mission to relocate it to its historic home on the railway.

With parties such as Rainhill Parish Council, Rainhill Railway Heritage Society and Rainhill Civic Society involved, the exhibition is planned to move to the disused building at Rainhill station. 

St Helens Star: The exhibition currently stands in a converted carriage next to Rainhill LibraryThe exhibition currently stands in a converted carriage next to Rainhill Library (Image: Rainhill Trials Exhibition)

Rainhill councillor Kate Stevenson said: "The significance of the Rainhill Locomotive Trials and the global reach has been consistently understated in our Borough, and one of our key objectives as councillors was always to put Rainhill firmly on the global map with an exhibition that brings our village the recognition it truly deserves.

"This was always in our plans for Rainhill, and the background work that we have undertaken over the last two years, involving Rainhill people and resources, has put us in an extremely strong position to manifest this move, and has reignited the passion and level of pride that our community has around the trials."

With aims to bring more guests to Rainhill with a more central exhibition, the historic story has been kept alive in large part by Rainhill Civic Society, which has helped to create the current carriage exhibition and erected plaques and rials across the village. 

St Helens Star: Plaques have been erected around Rainhill to mark the trials' significancePlaques have been erected around Rainhill to mark the trials' significance (Image: Cllr Donna Greaves)

Cllr Ann-Veronica Howitt added: "Rainhill Civic Society are always keen to celebrate and promote Rainhill’s heritage. No large city event, even less one in a small village, can have had a more profound effect on the entire world, than the Rainhill Locomotive Trials.

"It continues to be a pleasure and privilege to work together with the whole community and others with the same dedication and passion we feel for our Rail Heritage to ensure that it has a fitting renewed Exhibition, right where it all started , at Rainhill station."

As the Rainhill Trials nears its 200th anniversary, the independent councillors are also working closely with Dr Barrie Pennington around a borough-wide UNESCO World Heritage bid.

St Helens Star: The exhibition is hoped to be moved to Rainhill stationThe exhibition is hoped to be moved to Rainhill station (Image: St Helens Star)