Showing posts from 2012


Our Steam with Santa trains have started running again.  The railway has been decorated by a few volunteers and bookings are up on last year which is great - not many seats left now. The wind took its toll on the display outside the office - no matter how hard we tried, as soon as the trees were stood up the wind blew round the corner and knocked them down again!  That's been adjusted so hopefully there will not be a repeat this weekend,  There has been a few frosty mornings  this week giving the baubles a whole new look.   Very pretty (very cold)


 The Hedingham Sidecar Owners Club met at the railway between 23rd-25th November for their end of season meet.  This is the second year they have been to us, unfortunately the weather wasn't as kind to them this time round - heavy rain during the daytime and gales at night, but they are a hardy bunch! They've already booked to come back next year and hopfully somw will be attending the Classic Bike Rally on 1st Spetember


Saturday 27th saw our annual Wizards Evening where ghosts come out to play.  This year they were joined by a host of skeletons who took over one of the mail carriages, along with a mummy or two. The witches in the ticket office gathered round their cauldron and the ghost trains kept busy on the miniature and garden railways. Volunteers and some visitors were dressed in costume - ranging from ghosts and witches to a pumpkin.


A new arrival is D2700,  0-4-0DM built by the North British Locomotive Co.Ltd., Glasgow in 1955 No.27426. Originally numbered WD8205, it worked at Bicester, Marchwood and Longmoor Military Railways before passing into private ownership in the 1980's.  Still privately owned, this engine will be permanently based at the CVR


Last week saw the 27th Victorian Fantasy event aimed at KS2 children.  Around 1,000 people a day attended this highly popular event where they met Queen Victoria on the Royal Train, enjoyed a traditional Punch & Judy show took part in the Music Hall and enjoyed a lesson in the classroom - this seems to be the favourite part of the day for many children (they like the strict teachers) Music was provided by a Gavioli fairground organ which many danced to. On Sunday 14th we held a Victorian Sunday, where some of the children who had visited with a school in the week came back to show their family.  Again we had Queen Victoria and her entourage and has two engines in steam - WD190 and Little Barford.


We are very pleased to have been awarded VAQAS Accreditation again, meaning we can display the red rose logo.  This the the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Service from Visit England. In spite of the inspection being carried out on a Thomas day, the Assessor was very pleased with what we do at the Colne Valley Railway.


Thomas has just spent  three very busy days with us again.  We were very lucky with the weather and lots of visitors came along and enjoyed the fun and games with Thomas, Daisy, Mavis and others - not forgetting Sir Topham Hatt.


This weekend (22nd/23rd September) the ColneValley Railway will be taking part in the annual Railways On The Air event. This usually takes place every year on the weekend closest to the 27th September.  This date celebrates the anniversary of the first steam powered passenger railway which took place on 27th September 1825 - the first passenger train ran on a line in the North East of England from Stockton to Darlington. Members of the Braintree and District Amateur Radio Society (BADARS) will be at the Railway on both days, connecting with members at preserved railways all around the country. Further information can be found on   (the CVR is not listed as it was a late entry)


Built by Hunslet in 1952,  0-6-0ST WD190 returned to service at the weekend after an absence of 5 years.  In that time she has been overhauled by our own Steam Restoration Volunteers (fondly known as The Eccentrics!) The motion has been stripped, bearings remade, and the boiler was removed.  Some of the specialist work needed to be undertaken by a contractor off-site but most of the work was completed at Caste Hedingham.  The next project is another of our own engines - Jupiter.   A big Thank You to all the volunteers involved in working on WD190 - a great job well done.


The Essex section of the VMCC have just spent five days based at the Railway again.  They camp on site and each morning the sound of lovely old bikes can be heard as they set off on a daily run.


Guest loco Little Barford worked its first freight train at the Colne Valley Railway on Sunday 19th August. A tube wagon has had some bench seating installed in it and it proved to be very popular on its frst outing


Some of the members of Pressed Steel Heritage have been busy working on Class 121 trailer car W56287. Whilst the seat cushions are being re-upholstered they have removed and repainted all the frames, making the most of the nice weather.


0-4-0ST 'Little Barford' built by Andrew Barclay as No.2069 in 1939, arrived at the CVR this afternoon.  All being well we hope to have this in steam on Sunday.  


Nearly 40 vehicles attended the Rally held at the CVR on 22nd July, and for the second year running it was also a hot, sunny, dry day. Vehicles from 1942 to 2011 were admired including single, double-deck and open-top buses.  Commercials were represented by a couple of fire vehicles along with an AEC Matador from 1945 and a 1952 Scammell. Once again a very good day had by all.


During the week Alison and her band of willing volunteers (bribed with a jelly baby) moved into the new building at the site entrance.  The ticket office is also situated here and the shop is now accessible to wheelchairs/prams and is a lot roomier. The old shop in the station building will now be turned back into the waiting room that it originally was.


The CVR went to War on 8th July - this year unfortunately it was a war with the Weather. Our British Summer weather failed to keep re-enactors and visitors away and the Home Guard were keeping an eye on events during the day. The loco crew seen having a well earned break


Sunday 24th June we held, in conjunction with Braintree & Halstead Model Railway club, our annual Model Railway Exhibition. Layouts ranged from the very compact 'Foxbile Brewery' layout to larger '00'  and '0' gauge. We also had some larger scale live steam traction engines and a steam loco on the 7 1/4" line. On a sad note, Clive, the owner of the 7 1/4" steam locos, passed away on 26th June.  A lovely man who will be greatly missed.


WD190 waiting for the tank, cab and chimeny to be put in place. Local company RST lifted the tank and then came the job of carefully putting it in place, then came the chimney and cab. She is now looking more like a complete engine andseeing her in steam is getting ever nearer.


Thomas the Tank engine visited us again over the Jubilee weekend for three days of fun. Excited visitors - young and old - enjoyed rides on Thomas and Daisy and on the miniature railway, where they had steam and diesel trains running. Sir Topham Hatt made sure everyone behaved, Mavis (the diesel engine) had to be told off several times for misbehaving but otherwise all went well. Thomas and Friends will be back in September

CV&HR 150

Peckett 2000 and N7 69621 Glorious weather and two engines in steam - what a great combination.  Peckett 2000 worked a freight train, 69621 worked the passenger train and the 121 bubble car also ran. Local artist Malcolm Root brought some of his paintings along and there was a display documenting the history of the Colne Valley & Halstead Railway.  Volunteers from the East Anglian Railway Museum also attended the weekend. 69621 approaching Nunnery

N7 69621 ARRIVES

  N7 69621 arrived today from East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel & Wakes Colne. Should be in steamthis weekend for our Colne Valley & Halstead Railway 150th Anniversary event.

N7 69621 FOR CV&HR 150

It has been confirmed that East Anglian Railway Museum owned N7 69621 will spend the weekend of 26/27 May with us for the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Colne Valley & Halstead Railway through to Great Yeldham.


WD190 today had the boiler put back in place, next step is getting the tank back on and steam testing.  Good to see it going back together. When I asked what was needed to get her back steaming it was made to sound very easy - good job I know otherwise! Once the lorry had finished with WD190, the boiler was lifted from RSH 0-6-0ST Jupiter.  This 1950 built loco will be the next project when WD190 is finished.


Over the weekend of 21st/22nd April we held our Annual Vintage Vehicle Rally. Cars both modern and old attended, along with stationary engines, motorbikes and numerous other vehicles. In spite of the weather doing its best to put a damper on it, the event was again a great success


Easter Sunday and Monday we attended the Medway Festival of Steam and Transport at the Historic Chatham Dockyard. CVR based Victory was making a guest appearance at the docks where she had spent her working life. Both days Victory and Ajax top and tailed a freight train. Sunday was a busy day but unfortunately the constant drizzle all day Monday kept exhibitors and visitor numbers low.


It's only Wednesday and there has already been three departures this week. Monday saw our old staff coach go off to pastures new, Tuesday Isabel went to her owners at Epping and today saw the departure of Victory to chatham Dockyard. Even this morning Dick and Tony were putting finishing touches to the paintwork and putting the nameplates on. This is the first time that this little loco has left the Railway after arriving 37 years ago. She will be returning after Easter and will be in service later in the year.


A sight not seen very often - a class31 and 2 class 03s triple heading a passenger train. This was one of the more unusual workings at the Diesel Gala which also saw the 121 Bubble car and 141 pacer run during the day. The attendance was very good, the weather sunny, and for the first time we had Florida Coaches providing a bus link with Braintree station. This bus service will next run on Sunday 22nd April for the vintage rally.


Saturday saw the first of our Steam Driver Experience Days. All who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves on Peckett 2000 and in the signal box. We have had another school group in, they also enjoyed themselves, especially as the weather was so nice. Some more work has been done on the new building, guttering and some water butts have been installed - they are already full up from the heavy rain over the weekend. We are waiting for the asphalting to be done, this should hopefully be completed by Easter. Sunday sees our Diesel Gala, so there's been a fair amount of work on vasrious locos in preparation.


1945 built Andrew, Barclay, Sons & Co.Ltd. 0-4-0ST, Works No.2199 Victory being put through her paces today. It was a lovely sight to see - and hear - this little engine going through the station area, at times it sounded like something a lot bigger. She may be a small engine compared to some, but she can certainly pull her weight. Well done to Dick and Tony Goulding.


The new shop/ticket office arrived today, 12th March. The building is basically just a shell, interior walls, fitting etc have to be installed as well as another door. It is hoped to have this is operation later in the year. The area to the front is due to be asphalted this week, ready for the start of the operating season this weekend - steam drivex Saturday and steam day on Sunday.


A sight not seen for a while - Victory in steam - at one point hidden in the steam! This was a trial steaming ready for the steam test next week. For a small loco she made a lot of noise (or was that just Tony with the whistle!)


Peckett 2000 arrived this week for a return visit. The loco will spend the next couple of months here as WD190 is not ready yet. Victory is getting very near to being in full working order and is off to Chatham Dockyard for the Steam event at Easter and will then hopefully come into service. We have had another school group in and also attended the annual Travel Fair at at RAF Lakenheath


Another Group Travel Fair this week with Visit Essex, this time at Chatham Royal Dockyard. Busier than last weeks show, again a lot of interest and possible link with a coach tour group so we came away happy. What an amazing place the Dockyard is, we will be down there again at Easter for the Medway Festival of Steam and Transport along with Victory who used to work there. We've had a school group visit, they are going to bring another group in as they were so impressed.


This week saw the return of Castle Donington Power Station No.1 to the Midland Railway Centre. The engine came to us in 2008 and was a popular loco, the Railway seems strange without this little blue engine. Due to WD190 not quite being ready and Epping Ongars Isabel still in a non-operational condition we will be having a visiting loco to start the season off in March. Details to be announced. Sally attended a Group Travel Show at Bletchley Park and there was some good interest, all we need now is the bookings!!

British Transport Police

This week has seen the Explosives Search Dog division of the BTP on site every day as part of ongoing training. It has been very interesting seeing how the dogs and handlers work. This one, seen wearing his Kevlar boots, thinks he has found something in the drasin. We are now being used on a regular basis by several Police departments.


It's all change outside the office. The bank has been flattened in readiness for the siting of a new building which will be our new entrance/ticket office/ shop

WD190 Breathes again!

A warming fire was lit in the boiler of WD190 ready for pressure testing. Looked quite strange - I was waiting for the whistle to go saying the kettle had boiled!!


Well another year has swiftly gone and seen changes at the Railway. On the operating front, we had visiting steam locos in the shape of J72 69023 'Joem' Peckett 2000 and Thomas, whilst Castle Donington No.1 has remained on loan from the Midland Railway Centre. Resident engines Victory and WD 190 both had boilers go away for major work. Work on both is progressing and they should be steaming before too long. What was a temporary engine shed last year is now a carriage shed, the generator van has been painted to match the Pullman carriages it works with, other carriages are being repainted and the class 121 Bubble car and its trailer car have also been re-painted. The model railway shed was opened and in operation most days, this is proving to be very popular as is the miniature railway which has taken delivery of another container for storage. The garden railway has had new track laid and seen different engines running. We had several special events which were well attended