Search continues for new home for heritage railway

Colne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham.  FL; ENGANL00520130923100435
Colne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham. FL; ENGANL00520130923100435

A Castle Hedingham heritage railway line which plays host to 20,000 visitors a year is still searching for a new home.

The Colne Valley Railway, based at Castle Hedingham station, must leave the site by the end of the year because it has been given notice by the line’s landlord.

The railway has a mile-long running line with a fully-constructed station, signal box and railway yard.

It runs a number of events, including the popular Thomas the Tank Engine family day.

Braintree District Council confirmed the site owner has put the land forward for a Call for Sites initiative, run last year.

The council asked developers, landowners and other interested parties to put forward for consideration possible sites for development.

A council spokesman confirmed plans for the 22-acre railway site could include housing and commercial development - but no planning applications have been submitted, or approved, under the scheme, part of its New Local Plan.

Colne Valley Railway office manager Sally Halls said: “The railway remains committed to finding a suitable home when its lease terminates at the end of this year, and would like to thank all the landowners for their help and patience whilst we work through our options.

“We are committed to determining the option that best meets the charity’s objectives and the railway’s needs for the future.”

She said a number of ideas for the future of the railway are being investigated, but no option had yet been agreed, contrary to the impression given in a recent railway enthusiasts magazine .