Thursday, 24 October 2013


The winners of the awards were announced on 23rd October at a dinner at Boreham House, Chelmsford.
This year we were runners up, our congratulations go to worthy winners  Lee Valley White Water Centre - they bring something unique into the county.

We have made it through to the final three times and it is an achievement to make it that far  - we won in 2010 and the awards were not held in 2012.  

Thursday, 12 September 2013


 After nearly nine months, Pullman Car Aquila has emerged from the shed looking fantastic.  The mahogany in one end has been replaced and while out of action new carpet was installed - the old one had been patched so many times there was no more patches to be taken!  The chairs have also undergone a transformation being re-upholstered. Two windows had to be removed to get the chairs in and out, quite a delicate job when they came back as exterior had been finished. The name on the side finishes it all off nicely.  Well done to Syd and Ashley for their hard work on this.

Friday, 16 August 2013


We are very pleased to announce that we have made it to the finals of the Best Small Attraction category in this years awards.

Wish us luck - the results will be announced in October.

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Now our band of 'Eccentrics' (Loco Restoration Team) have finished WD190 and taken delivery of more workshop space they have started the restoration of 1950 built 0-6-0ST Jupiter.  The wheels have been removed, these will have to go away to have work carried out but it is hoped a lot of it can be done on site.


The 3rd Bus & Commercial Rally was held on 21st July. Vehicles of all ages were in attendance and visitors were treated to rides around the area as well as all our regular attractions.

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Sunday 14th July saw the Colne Valley at War day with lots of re-enactors on site.
In the week we had a pre-school group with 71 children and nearly as many adults finish off their term by sending a day with us.  They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and I imagine many children were asleep by the time they left the site!  We've also had a private coach party in and on another day 40+ railway enthusiasts who travelled in from all over the country.    

Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Thomas has made his first visit of the year.  We had two very busy weekends and lots of excited children.  Thomas and Daisy the Diesel ran on the main line and Mavis gave rides in Toad on our demonstration line.  It was 'All Change' this year as the trains ran continuously, Sir Topham Hatt was very pleased with Thomas and his crew for working so hard on some very warm days.

Thomas was also visiting the garden railway with James and Percy
All in all it's been a very busy couple of weeks with school visits and a private coach tour inbetween the Thomas weekends.  Thomas leaves today but will be back in September

Sunday, 26 May 2013


 Sunday 19th May saw the first Emergency Services event at the Railway.  The idea came from seeing how popular the fire engine is when visiting us.  Unfortunately the local fire and police services couldn't help as everything near us is retained but we had representatives from the Essex Fire Museum and Air Ambulance, St Johns Ambulance and Police Museum along as well as some preserved vehicles. The British Transport Police Dog Section were very popular - they use us as a regular training base so to come along on a casual day made a change.
The day ended with a demonstration involving all the emergency services

Monday, 6 May 2013


The Bank Holiday weekend of 5th/6th May saw the first visit of Peppa Pig and her little brother George.

The pair were on hand to meet visitors young and old, and enjoy lots of cuddles from their adoring fans. The sun was shining and the visitors poured in.  Train crews were kept busy both on the main line and the miniature railway and it was great to see so many happy visitors on site.  A very successful event.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Vintage Vehicle Rally

The weekend of 20/21 April saw the annual vintage vehicle rally which was well attended by vehicles old and new and all shapes and sizes.

The weather was good both days this year and on the Sunday the exhibition field was full.

This roller sounded particularly good as it went along

Wednesday, 13 March 2013


Icicles on the water tower (12th March)
The opening weekend of the 2013 season saw steam driver experience courses on Saturday 9th March which all went well. Our first steam day on the Sunday didn't.  The weather was very wet, cold and snowy so the decision was taken to run the DMU only.  The atrocious conditions meant visitor numbers were lower then expected but there was a good number who braved the weather and came along and enjoyed themselves.
We had a school visit us on Tuesday and in spite of the bitter cold they still wanted their ride on the miniature railway - it certainly blew the cobwebs away!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


All available diesels in our fleet should be in action at our Diesel Gala on Sunday 17th March.

We hope to have running  class 121 Bubble car W55033, Class 141 Pacer 141108 - which has now had its engine problems fixed and hopefully will be seen in action more this year.
03s D2041 and D2184 will be topping and tailing on the passenger coaches whilst 31255 and 08683 will top and tail on the freight train where you can ride in the brake van or the tube wagon.
Gates open at 10:30, first train 11:30 with a proposed 10 minute service.  

Thursday, 21 February 2013


Pullman carriage Aquila went into the shed after Christmas to undergo replacement of carriage end.  The other end was done in 2010 with the help of a grant, this time round we have no funding help.  The work is expected to take around 8 months, but it all depends on what is uncovered.

The end has been removed, it now waits to have measurements taken for all the new wood.


Over the closed season volunteers have been busy all over the site.  The Permanent Way team have been replacing sleepers and working on points.  The loco engineering boys have taken delivery of another lathe which has kindly been donated, they then had to get another container to house it!!  By the time they've got it all installed they will have a better workshop area with more space.  They have also been helping with work on a Ruston diesel and one of the team has undertaken the job of getting the diesel crane working.
elsewhere the site is being tidied up ready for opening on 9th March and already bookings are coming in for Days out with Thomas, Peppa Pig and even the Victorian schools event in October, we have also got six school visits booked in a 10-day period in March - no time to sit and do nothing.


The miniature railway has taken delivery of a new petrol hydraulic loco.  No.7 'Badger' is a replacement for 'Tom' who has gone elsewhere.

Over the closed period the volunteers have been working on extending the line so that it will have a second loop running through a larger tunnel (when they run out room for extending will they be going underground one wonders!)

Thursday, 3 January 2013


Santa had a few days with us to finish off the season.  With only a few seats spare he was kept very busy.

The season finished with with passenger numbers for the year up by over 15%

Hired locomotives this year included Peckett 2000,  EARMs N7 and Little Barford, the latter is still with us, but the highlight of the year was WD190 coming back into service.

The Vintage Vehicle and Bus & Commercial Rallies were again successful and the Victorian Schools Days were also fully booked.

Several new events are planned for this year including visits from Peppa Pig, Emergency Services and Classic Motorbike Rallies and a 1960s day - further information on the website.