Colne Valley Railway
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|Colne Valley Railway|
|Castle Hedingham station on the Colne Valley railway|
|Built by||Colne Valley and Halstead Railway|
|Original gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Preserved gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Closed||1961 Passenger traffic
1965 Freight traffic
|1974||Preservation Society formed|
|Headquarters||Castle Hedingham Station|
|Colne Valley and Halstead Railway|
The Colne Valley Railway is a heritage railway based at Castle Hedingham Station, near Halstead in Essex, England. The railway consists of a 1 mile (1.6 km) long running line, with a fully reconstructed station, signal box and railway yard.
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 remained open until 1 January 1962, when all passenger traffic, and freight traffic between Haverhill and Yeldham ended. On 19 April 1965, all freight traffic ended. 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 developed into a tourist attraction.
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. 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.
Despite its short length, the CVR is home to three ex-mainline steam locomotives and holds Pullman dining services on a monthly basis.
The Colne Valley Railway will operate for the last time on 31 December 2015. The Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society were informed at their Annual General Meeting on 22 March 2015 that the owner of the site had decided the railway no longer featured in his plans for the Hedingham Castle estate.
Planning permission would be sought for redevelopment of the site, which lies in a conservation area. The society were served notice that operations must cease after 31 December 2015, with the society having to remove all its rolling stock and buildings during 2016, with possibility of relocation to another heritage railway, elsewhere.
|LMS||4-6-0||Class 5MT||No. 45163 built 1935, Under restoration.|
|LMS||4-6-0||Class 5MT||No. 45293 built 1936, Under restoration.|
|SR||4-6-2||Merchant Navy Class||No. 35010 Blue Star, built 1942. Under external restoration.|
|Hunslet||0-6-0ST||Austerity||No. WD190, built in 1952. Operational.|
|Hunslet||0-6-0ST||Austerity||No. WD200, built in 1953. Under restoration/overhaul.|
|Avonside||0-4-0ST||Barrington, built 1921. Under overhaul.|
|Hawthorne Leslie||0-4-0ST||No. 1, built in 1928. External restoration.|
|RSH||0-6-0ST||56||No. 60 Jupiter, built in 1950. Under restoration/ overhaul.|
|BR||0-6-0DM||Class 03||No. D2041, operational.|
|BR||0-6-0DM||Class 03||No. D2184, operational.|
|BR||0-6-0DM||Class 08||No. 08 411, under restoration|
|BR||A1A-A1A||Class 31||No. 31 255, operational|
|BR||Co-Co||Class 47||No. 47 771 Heaton Traincare Depot, under restoration|
|Ruston & Hornsby||0-4-0DM||No. YD43, ex-Admiralty. operational|
|Andrew Barclay Sons & Co.||4wDM||No. 349/41, operational|
Diesel multiple units
|BR||Class 121||No. 55033, operational|
|BR||Class 121||No. 56287, operational|
|BR||Class 141||No. 141 108, operational|
|AC Cars / BR||Railbus||No. W79978, static display.|
- Gordon, D. I. (1990). A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain. Volume 5, The Eastern Counties. Newton Abbot / North Pomfret: David St. John Thomas / David and Charles. pp. 162, 167. ISBN 0 946537 55 0.
- "Colne Valley shock: railway will close on December 31". Steam Railway (Peterborough: Bauer Consumer Media) (439): pp16–17. 27 March 2015. ISSN 0143-7232.
- "Colne Valley cash Conundrum". Steam Railway (Peterborough: Bauer Consumer Media) (440): pp28–29. 24 April 2015. ISSN 0143-7232.
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