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East Anglian Railway Museum
Address: Chappel and Wakes Colne Station, Wakes Colne, Essex CO6 2DS Location Type: Working Railway Museum
Telephone: 01206 242524 Line Length: ½ mile Gauge: 4ft 8½ inches
Open Days: Every day except 25, 26 December for static displays. Train rides on certain special event days Tickets: Adult £5.00, Child £2.50 static days
Parking: Museum CO6 2DS
Site Facilities: Refreshments, museum, picnic area, miniature railway
The Stour Valley Railway Preservation Society was formed in 1968 with aim of running a steam operated railway line. At this time the Sudbury - Shelford route had recently closed so the Society proposed the purchase of the section from Sudbury to Long Melford. Unfortunately British Rail sold the track before sufficient funds could be raised.
In December 1970 the Society set up its base at Chappel and Wakes Colne station which was derelict and had suffered vandalism. On the positive side the site had the station building, signal box, goods shed and a large area where there were sidings. The Society still wanted to have a length of track and the station was on the Marks Tey - Sudbury route which was a possible candidate for closure. This line never did close with the passenger service currently operated by National Express.
Despite no track being left at Chappel and Wakes Colne station, track re-laying enabled train rides to be provided for Society members on 13 April 1971 by 'Gunby' 0-6-0ST War Department Austerity locomotive. All the buildings were restored, extra track laid along with the required points and signalling. A major improvement was the installation of a footbridge on 8 March 1981, this came from Sudbury and gives the benefit of access to the site without crossing the BR line.
In 1986 the name changed to East Anglia Railway Museum. Open most days the museum has a few steam/diesel days when passenger rides are available, for families there are 'Thomas' and 'Santa Specials.'
Even on a non-operational day there is much to see including the station building which was built in 1880 by the Great Eastern Railway. There are three signal boxes, the goods shed dates from 1891. A restoration shed completed in 1985 is used for the maintenance and restoration of rolling stock. An interesting variety of goods waggons and passenger carriages are on display.
Operational steam locomotives are Bagnall 0-4-0ST No.2542 ‘Jubilee’, RSH 0-6-0ST No.54 'Pen Green' which masquerades as 'Thomas'. A number of DMUs and diesel shunters are also at the museum.
Mangapps Railway Museum
Address: Southminster Road, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex CM0 8QG Location Type: Working Railway Museum
Telephone: 01621 784898 Email: email@example.com Line Length: ¾ mile Gauge: 4ft 8½ inches
Open Days: Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays - February 2 - end of October
Tickets: Diesel days Adults £7.00, Child £3.00, Steam days Adult £8.00, Child £3.50 Parking: Mangapps Railway Museum CM0 8QG
Site Facilities: Refreshments, museum, picnic area
Train enthusiast John Jolly had by the mid 1980s collected a range of small railway relics which were displayed in an unused barn on his farm. This was the beginning of the Mangapps Railway Museum, there followed a rather larger item, the waiting room from Brampton station on the East Suffolk line. Buildings from Horham and Laxfield stations both on the Mid-Suffolk Light Railway were erected later.
In the museum there is an emphasis on railways in East Anglia and signalling. A variety of semaphore signals can be seen along with the lever frames required to make them work. Nameplates, posters and publicity material much of it from the Great Eastern Railway is also on display.
There are signal boxes that came from Berney Arms, Norfolk and Haddiscombe Junction with another awaiting renovation. A ¾ mile of track gives a ride across a pleasant landscape of Essex fields. Trains run every open day, usually diesel power is used, although there is the occasional steam day.
Six steam locomotives are located at Mangapps, although only one is operational it is Andrew Barclay 0-4-0ST No.8. A number of diesel engines, DMUs, EMUs and over 80 carriages and waggons make up the wide selection of rolling stock on site.