The line between Northampton and Market Harborough finally closed on 16 August 1981, the intermediate stations on the route having been closed for many years.
In 1984 a group was formed with the intention of opening a section of the line as a heritage railway. The site opened to the public shortly afterwards. Following the granting of a Light Railway Order, the line carried its first fare-paying passengers in November 1995. The official Grand Opening Ceremony took place on 31 March 1996.
Dennis lives in Farnham, Surrey, with his wife, Catherine ("Kate") Abbot-Anderson whom he married in 1996. They have two children, a son called Freddie (born March 28 1997) and a daughter called Meg (born July 2 1999).