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“A nice little railway centre”

Colne Valley Railway
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Enjoy a trip on our mile length of line on the original Colne Valley and Halstead Railway. Re-located buildings, signal boxes etc., all lovingly restored by volunteers. Mixture of steam and diesel operating days, miniature 7 1/4" railway, garden layout and new for this year large 00 gauge layout. Visit the working signalbox, exhibition centre, Travelling Post Office and shop. Excellent buffet facilities, large free car park, admission covers all facilities. Dine in style on our Pullman train (selected dates only) and Thomas the Tank Engine events.
Wisbech
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“A nice little railway centre”
Reviewed September 27, 2013

A nice little railway centre with lots of nice items. Sadly a lot of the stock is rotting away unrestored including the famous Bullied "Blue Star" Locomotive which seems to have made little or no progress in 30+ years of preservation. The journey is too short for the price paid and the line needs to expand a bit more to give a better journey. There are some lovely exhibits and most staff are friendly.

I say most staff are friendly but the first visit in June we had wasn't a success, we arrived to find the line shut and a grumpy chap cutting some grass down. He said sniffly "I do the website and, I, know when the line is open", we had checked the website before starting out and the site showed the line was open. We tried to phone but no one answers the telephones.

The buffet was ok, typical MK1 buffet packet fare, wasps were a real problem.

It's a nice place and could be so much more with a little work.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Paul J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chairman-CVR, Chairman at Colne Valley Railway, responded to this review, October 1, 2013
Many thanks for your review.

Blue Star is owned by a separate group of volunteers who also own one of our LMS Black 5 locomotives which is the main focus of their attention. However, they are in the process of completely overhauling Blue Star's cab with the intention that visitors will be allowed into the cab from next year - it has been positioned at a specially constructed platform to allow this.
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138 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
birmingham
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Over priced train ride”
Reviewed September 9, 2013 via mobile

Visited on Sunday 8th of September, took our 3 year old girl who was so excited, in fact it was the first time we had all gone on a steam train and was looking forward to it. We got there And it was simple set out nicely and few things to look at but the main attraction was the fact we was getting to go on the train, paid £9 each per adult and there was two of us and £5 for my daughter total of £23 pounds. We sat on the train and expected a little trip!! However we sat on the train and move about 400m maximum and the train stopped and the next thing we knew we were going back the way we came and passed the station about 300m where we stopped again and then returned to the station, very disappointed as we spent more time on the train static than we did it moving, this is fine for the kids but not worth the money we had to pay, have left very disappointed and will not recommend it to our friends nor visit again!!

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank lalac85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Concentrated Steamy Goodness!”
Reviewed August 1, 2013

There is an awful lot of rolling stock here, and a surprisingly large number of locomotives, given that the line itself is barely a mile long. The station buildings are exhibits in themselves, and offer a fascinating glimpse of past times, and the volunteers are keen, kind, and generous with their time. Possibly more of an attraction for the genuine enthusiast than for the casual visitor, but plenty here for both.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank mikehm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A day out with Thomas”
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Attended a recent day out with Thomas event here with our 2 year old and 8 month old and had a fabulous day. Plenty to do with the miniature train rides as well as the larger trains along with the activity tent. Was pleased to see the face painting, storytelling and various activities were all inclusive in the entry price. Plenty of smiley staff on hand to help and The Fat Controller was great with the children. The pushchair was easy to negotiate and could be taken on all of the trains except Thomas. As usual food was quite expensive but we took along a packed lunch so wasn't a problem. Only gripe would be the baby change facilities which were not very clean by the afternoon. A great day out, enjoyed by all of the family. Will definitely go again when baby is a bit older.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jodie518
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chairman-CVR, Chairman at Colne Valley Railway, responded to this review, June 30, 2013
Thank You. We try very hard to make these events a success, within the bounds of our agreement with the licensor, and provide as much to do as possible.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumbria
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Overpriced scrap yard!!”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Went to a Thomas the Tank Engine event (2 adults and 1 child) at a cost of £38. Firstly had a story time session and you had to seem enthusiastic for the kids sake!!! Then greeted by a load of old rusting heaps of metal with plastic faces tied on. The trains didnt actually go anywhere part from a few metres back and forth so most of the time you are stuck on them whilst waiting to be pushed about. The miniture railway was overgrown grass and weeds, faded plastic toys, carriages that had been deliberately broken to fit people inside!! The food carriages had every single table filled with uncleared rubbish so we couldnt eat anywhere!! Lastly the woman on the shop till couldnt use it, didnt know prices and couldnt give correct change!! I think a group of rusting OAP's tried to make money from a hobby. GIVE IT UP!!!

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Gillian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chairman-CVR, Chairman at Colne Valley Railway, responded to this review, June 28, 2013
Thank you for your feedback room your visit to our Thomas the Tank Engine day, your feedback has been taken on board. I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the story telling time this has been an activity which is popular with the children and the adults. This is also an area in which the owners of Thomas have praised us on during out inspections. We will review the length of time in which these stories take place.

We actively publicise that we only have a mile length of track and the station is in the middle. This is an issue which we have always had due to houses and a main road being at each end of the line. However this does offer several benefits as the children have opportunity to see Thomas run around the train at each end instead of just in the platform, this is something which you do not get at every railway.

The miniature railway is a 7¼inch railway in which all the carriages and engines have been built to that scale, the toys along the line have been put out for the children to spot by request from other customers who had missed them on previous visits. The Garden railway is also another favourite with the children.

The buffet carriage is a operate franchise from the railway, your feedback about the clearing of tables will be passed on to the owner, who will consequently act upon this.

The Colne Valley Railway is a volunteer run organisation in which there is a high number of elderly volunteers as well as those within their teens up to middle age. Without the elder volunteers the future of the railway would not be viable as they pass on their vast knowledge covering many aspects. On the majority of operating days you will see at least 3 young volunteer’s actively running the railway both behind the scenes and in front of the public, and they are key to the railways future and development.
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