Heritage railways, steam railways and railway museums in Great Britain and Ireland

Heritage railways, steam railways and railway museums in Great Britain and Ireland
Heritage railways, steam railways and railway museums in Great Britain and Ireland

East Anglian Railway Museum

Chappel & Wakes Colne Station - East Anglian Railway Museum - old train carriage

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A visit to the East Anglian Railway Museum.

The East Anglian Railway Museum is located at Chappel and Wakes Colne railway station in Essex, England, which is situated on the former Great Eastern Railway branch line from Marks Tey to Sudbury. Services on the Sudbury Branch Line are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia.

The museum has a wide collection of locomotives and rolling stock, some of which are fully restored, three are converted into Thomas, Percy and Toby replicas while others are undergoing repair and restoration. The Restoration Shed was built in 1983–4, before which most work had to take place in the Goods Shed or in the open. On event days, steam or diesel train rides are operated over a short demonstration track.

The museum also plays host to three popular annual events: the Winter Beer Festival held each February, the Cider Festival held each June, and the Summer Beer Festival held each September. During the festivals, additional late-evening trains on the Sudbury Branch Line allow festival-goers to return home by train subject to provision by the train operation companies. There are no moving exhibits during the festivals, although train carriages are usually open to sit in and drink, with one wagon doubling up as The Shunters Arms at the summer festival.

The museum was originally formed as the Stour Valley Railway Preservation Society on 24 September 1968. The SVRPS was established at Chappel & Wakes Colne Station in December 1969 after a lease was obtained from British Rail to use the vacant goods yard and railway buildings, including the station building. The first public steam day took place three months later.

The goods shed and station buildings were quickly restored; with a workshop being set up in the goods shed to enable maintenance and restoration work to be undertaken on the rolling stock.

The Stour Valley Railway Preservation Society was renamed to The East Anglian Railway Museum in 1986 to confirm its focus on representing railway history of the Eastern Counties rather than just operating trains. The museum gained charitable status in 1991 (Registered Charity No. 1001579) and became a Registered Museum in 1995.

Since 2005, the museum has had a greater emphasis on interpretation and display facilities, a large variety of events take place each year to raise funds to support the museum's activities.

A look around Chappel & Wakes Colne Station. Only one platform is in use. The other is part of the museum.

Chappel & Wakes Colne railway station is on the Gainsborough Line, a branch off the Great Eastern Main Line to Sudbury, in the East of England, serving the village of Wakes Colne and the neighbouring Chappel. It is 3 miles 49 chains (5.81 km) down the line from Marks Tey and 50 miles 18 chains (80.83 km) measured from London Liverpool Street. It is situated between Marks Tey and Bures. Its three-letter station code is CWC. Platform 1 has an operational length for five-coach trains. Platforms 2 and 3 are used by the East Anglian Railway Museum.

The station is currently operated by Greater Anglia, who also operate all trains serving it, as part of the East Anglia franchise. It has one platform as the line is single-track. It is also home to the East Anglian Railway Museum which has the former London-bound platform, a running line, the original station buildings and all of the land and facilities on the east side of the line. Just to the south of the station the line runs over the Chappel viaduct.

Chappel & Wakes Colne is unstaffed but has a self-service ticket machine. The platform buildings, on the station's west side, are restored to 1950s style but are part of the museum, and entered from ground-floor level.

old train carriage at platform 2 (the other side)

Uploaded to Flickr by ell brown on 16 July 2019

Creative Commons License Photo © ell brown, 16 July 2019. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons licence

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