TRAIN staff, passengers and enthusiasts gathered at Salisbury station on Saturday to celebrate 150 years since the first passenger train travelled from Salisbury to Gillingham.

There were lots of things going on in the station throughout the day, with all money raised going to Salisbury District Hospital’s Stars Appeal.

Train driver Mike Pearceand Steve Chislett, a former railway guard who is now the station announcer, signed copies of their book ‘West From Salisbury’, which they have put together to mark the anniversary. The book is full of photographs and stories that the pair collected by interviewing staff, passengers and train enthusiasts and all the proceeds raised from sales will go to the Stars Appeal.

A special commemorative plaque was unveiled by Jacqueline and Jonathan Roberts, who met on the London Waterloo to Gillingham train on April 6, 2006. Jonathan proposed to Jacqueline 10 days later and they married shortly afterwards.

Last February, South West Trains refurbished the 159002 model and gave the couple the seats they had been sitting in when they met, which now have pride of place in their living room.

Several model railways were on display for passers-by to admire, including a model recreating Salisbury station in the 1940s, built by Graham Muspratt, whose grandfather worked on the line at that time.