Colne Valley Railway

Colne Valley Railway
Colne Valley Railway
Castle Hedingham station on the Colne Valley railway
Coordinates 51°59′48″N 0°34′47″E / 51.9966°N 0.5798°E / 51.9966; 0.5798Coordinates: 51°59′48″N 0°34′47″E / 51.9966°N 0.5798°E / 51.9966; 0.5798
Commercial operations
Built by Colne Valley and Halstead Railway
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Commercial history
Opened 1861/1863
Closed 1961 Passenger traffic
1965 Freight traffic
Preservation history
1973 land purchase
1974 Preservation Society formed
Headquarters Castle Hedingham Station

The Colne Valley Railway is a heritage railway based at Castle Hedingham Station, near Halstead in Essex, England. The railway consists of a mile-long running line, with a fully reconstructed station, signal box and railway yard. Despite its short length, the CVR is home to three ex-mainline steam locomotives and holds Pullman dining services on a monthly basis.

As of 2011, there is hope one day the line could extend towards Yeldham as the old train station site has recently[when?] been cleared for a path and could also possibly enough space for a future extension, once funding begins and finances allow (plus, extending from a mile-long to about 2 miles).[citation needed]



A mid Victorian era photograph showing a Colne Valley and Halstead Railway 2-2-2WT at Halstead engine shed

The railway occupies part of the former Colne Valley and Halstead Railway (CVHR), which opened in stages between 16 April 1860 and 10 May 1863. This part of the railway was a through line from Birdbrook to Wakes Colne.

The line continued to remain open until 30 December 1961, when passenger traffic ended. In 1965, freight traffic ended and the line was demolished a year later.


The land was purchased in 1973 and the preservation society was formed in 1974. The first steam locomotive to arrive on site was No.WD190 shortly followed by No.72. Members of the preservation society began to operate the locomotives on a short section of line which attracted public attention. Since then the preservation society has evolved into a major tourist attraction and has one of the largest collection of rolling stock in the area.

Although originally a main line railway, the track was taken up in the late 60s, during the Beeching axe era, so when the railway was purchased there was no remaining infrastructure. The original Hedingham station was one mile away and was taken down carefully brick by brick. The bricks were numbered so that it could be easily and correctly reassembled on the preservation site.

The Hedingham signal box came from Cressing (see The timber top half (first floor) was saved for preservation and remounted on a new higher (ground floor) brick base re-constructed for it. The bridge crossing the River Colne came from Earls Colne in 1982.

Recently/Lately, the old station site at Yeldham has been cleared for a path, but there could be enough space for a future extension of the heritage route once funding begins and finances allow (plus the old platforms would require renovation and further restoration and track re-laying).

Motive power

SR Merchant Navy Class "Blue Star" on static display awaiting restoration

Steam locomotives

  • LMS 4-6-0 Class 5MT nos. 45163 and 45293. Both under restoration.
  • SR 4-6-2 Merchant Navy Class no. 35010 "Blue Star". Static display awaiting restoration.
  • WD 0-6-0ST "Austerity" no. 190. Undergoing boiler overhaul.
  • Avonside 0-4-0ST "Barrington". Static display, awaiting overhaul.
  • Hawthorne Leslie 0-4-0ST No 1. Static display.
  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No 8 "Victory". Undergoing overhaul.
  • RSH 0-6-0ST No 60 "Jupiter". Undergoing overhaul.

Visiting steam locomotives

  • Castle Donington No.1 is a 1954 built Robert Stephenson Hawthorns (7817) 0-4-0ST from the Midland Railway - Butterley start of 2008 to late 2010. Operational.
  • peckett Number 2000 is now at the railway on loan from the Midland Railway – Butterley this will hopefully be the mainstay of steam operations. operational.

Diesel locomotives

Class 31 number 31255 at the Colne Valley Railway
  • BR 0-6-0 Class 03 nos. D2041 and D2184 Operational
  • BR A1A-A1A Class 31 no. 31255 Operational
  • BR Co-Co Class 47 no. 47771 "Heaton Traincare Depot" (under long term restoration 2/9/2007)
  • Royal Admiralty 0-4-0 no. YD43 Static display.
  • BR 0-6-0 British Rail Class 08, various Nos. None operational.
  • Class 121 DMU, Operational
  • Class 141 Pacer No. 141108, Operational
  • 1950s diesel railbus, static display
  • Andrew Barclay 0-4-0DM No. 349/41 Operational

Diesel multiple units

Leyland Railbus 141108 Colne Valley Railway
Railbus number W79978 at the Colne Valley Railway
  • BR Class 121 nos. 55033 and 54287 Operational
  • BR Class 141 unit 141108 (55508+55528) Operational
  • BR Railbuses no. 79978

Electrical multiple units

  • BR Class 422 buffet coach 69318 (ex-unit 2259)

See CVRPS site for latest position

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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