Colne Valley Railway

Castle Donington Colne Valley RailwayA unique railway with only a short running line but we do have many activities specifically for families. The Colne Valley Railway is a heritage railway based at Castle Hedingham Station, near Halstead in Essex, England. The railway consists of a 1 mile (1.6 km) long running line, with a fully reconstructed station, signal box and railway yard.

Sample the atmosphere and take a ride on an award winning period country railway. A pretty line, almost a mile long, with relocated station buildings, signal boxes and bridges all lovingly restored and rebuilt. A large and varied collection of vintage steam and diesel engines, carriages and wagons that represent much of our railway heritage.

Colne Valley Railway, Castle Hedingham, Essex CO9 3DZ Tel: 01787 461174


Access and Parking

Our entrance is located on the A1017 midway between the villages of Castle Hedingham and Great Yeldham, adjacent to a large electricity pylon. Follow the roadway (10 mph) to our large car parking areas approx 1/2 mile (limited disabled parking is available near to the station buildings). Free parking for around 300 cars.

Country Railway

For our mainline train ride, you board one of our restored railway coaches at our station. The train takes you for about 1/2 a mile towards the village of Castle Hedingham, over and alongside the River Colne to a loop named Nunnery Junction, where the locomotive will run around the train – watch for it out of the window. The journey then resumes for a non stop run through our station and past our restoration areas, to a second loop named Drawell. After running around a second time (this time the locomotive will pass the train on the other side), you are returned back to our station. The total line length is just under 1 mile and there is only the one station complex.

Garden Railway

The Garden Railway is located adjacent to the Travelling Post Office. A few of our volunteers have developed a miniature railway in a garden environment. Recently extended, this G gauge scale railway has trains that run over 100 metres of track, through a tunnel, stations and over bridges. even through a castle. Various model boats operate on the lake. Can you find Nessie? Fully functioning most weekends, weather permitting. Located on Platform 0.

7¼” Miniature Railway

Opened in 2008 our ride on miniature railway has two stations, a turntable and four locomotives. The miniature railway can be accessed from the end of platform No. 0 beyond the garden railway. The ride is 650 metres long and should operate, weather permitting, on most main railway open days.

Please Note: This is a small train and we insist that all customers remain seated and do not lean out of the trains. This is for your and other customers safety. For further details click here


Located in the station building on platform 1 is an exhibition of artefacts, cameo scenes and visual displays. See how the area and our railway has developed over the years, together with the previous Colne Valley & Halstead Railway’s early history.


This working Signalbox is open for visitors on most operational days, but please be patient if the signalling staff are busy, or need to close to visitors for operational reasons.

Travelling Post Office

The Travelling Post Office is located on our new platform 0 (behind the museum) and has near level access (one small step) for all our visitors. try your hand at sorting letters as the travelling postmen used to do.

The Tierney Model Railway Shed

Located behind the signal box, this houses a large (10m x 5m) 00 gauge layout, donated to the railway by the family of Mr John Tierney of Great Dunmow, shortly after his death in 2007. It was quickly dismantled and stored, whilst the location for the new building was agreed, planning permission sought and new foundations created. The Shed itself was rebuilt and extended to make room for public access during 2010. The Model Railway was formally opened on the 4th June 2010, and will open on most operating days for at least part of the day.

Buffet Car Cafe

The Buffet Car Cafe is open every day the trains are running. A typical menu includes breakfasts, hot and cold light lunches, cream teas, freshly made sandwiches, home made cakes and refreshments. On busy days please be patient if queues build up over the lunchtime period. Pre-booked parties are catered for with menus to suit the occasion. Please call 01787 461174 for further information. Located on Platform 2 and 3 and the adjacent Patio area

Station Shop

Open on all operational days, stocking a wide selection of Thomas items and Railway souvenirs, Books, DVDs and model railway stock. There is also a small second-hand books section. The shop doubles as ticket office, other than on major events. It is located at our Station Entrance.

The shop can also be opened at other times – please phone 01787 461174 for assistance.


Toilets are provided near to our main entrance and also on platform No 1. A disabled access toilet is located near to the main toilet block.

Woodland Walk

The Woodland Walk that is adjacent to, and accessed via the railway will be open usually between early May until the end of September but will be closed if ground conditions are unsuitable for visitors using normal foot-ware. The adjoining fields are not part of the Woodland Walk and there is no access to railway visitors.

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