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, new events for 2011 included a Bus Rally and a Victorian Sunday. The educational Victorian schools days were well attended and we have had more private school visits than ever.
Signalling work has taken place along the line, with the main event for the S&T Department being the arrival of Kennett signal box in December. This is one of their projects for 2012.
We received VAQAS Accreditation again, this is the Red Rose scheme for Visit England. We were also runners-up in the Best Small Visitor Attraction category at the Essex Tourism Awards.
The British Transport Police are regular visitors now, they use the site for training purposes. They now bring the dogs in, lovely to watch them at work.
The format of the Santa Specials changed slightly this year, and seemed to work very well.
On a sadder note, earlier in the year one of the founder members of the Colne Valley Railway, John Holbrook, passed away after a short illness and on 23rd December one of our steam crew, Den Haggett passed away. Den was also a guard and will be greatly missed.