Colne Valley and Halstead Railway

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Colne Valley and Halstead Railway
Stour Valley Railway
Haverhill (South-CVHR)
Haverhill (North)
Stour Valley Railway
to Sudbury
Colne Valley Railway
(heritage railway)
Sible and Castle Hedingham
Earls Colne
White Colne
Gainsborough Line
to Sudbury
Chappel and Wakes Colne
East Anglian
Railway Museum
Gainsborough Line

The Colne Valley and Halstead Railway (CVHR) was a former railway between Haverhill, Suffolk and Chappel and Wakes Colne, Essex, in England.


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

A railway in the Colne Valley was first proposed in 1846 when the Colchester, Stour Valley, Sudbury and Halstead Railway Company was incorporated to build a line from Marks Tey on the Eastern Counties Railway to Sudbury, with a branch to Halstead and a line from Colchester to Hythe. A later extension to Bury St. Edmunds and Clare was also approved, however a shortage of funds resulted in only the Stour Valley Railway to Sudbury and the line to Hythe being built.[1]

In 1856, the Colne Valley and Halstead Railway Company was formed by local people to build a branch line from Chappel and Wakes Colne railway station to Halstead. It was authorised on 30 June 1856, and opened on 16 April 1860 between Chappel (north of Marks Tey) and Halstead, a distance of 6 miles (10 km).[2]

A 13 miles (21 km) extension was authorised on 13 August 1859 and opened in stages:

Physical connection with the Stour Valley Railway at Haverhill was provided in 1865, and although close relations were maintained with the Great Eastern Railway, the Colne Valley and Halstead Railway remained completely independent until it became part of the London and North Eastern Railway in the 1923 regrouping.[2] The CVHR station, renamed Haverhill South, was closed to passengers in 1924 but remained open for goods until 1965.

Heritage railway preservation[edit]

The line remained open until 30 December 1961, when passenger traffic ended. In 1965, freight traffic ended, and the line was taken up a year later.

A mile of track was reconstructed in 1973-75 as the Colne Valley Railway, including Castle Hedingham station. In 2012, the site of the former Yeldham station was cleared for a pathway[clarification needed], the most likely site for any future extension.

Nature reserve[edit]

A stretch of the former track north and east of Earls Colne is now the Colne Valley Local Nature Reserve.


  1. ^ "The Colne Valley & Halstead Railway Co. Ltd". Retrieved 2009-05-04. 
  2. ^ a b c Railway Magazine December 1958 p. 890

External links[edit]