Steam train marks 150 years of rail on Essex coast

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

A steam train will be running to and from Walton-on-the-Naze station this weekend to mark the 150th anniversary of the seaside branch line.

Greater Anglia is supporting and sponsoring the event, which has been organised by Tendring District Council Chairman Cllr Mark Platt.

The Tornado steam train will run from Liverpool Street to Walton-on-the-Naze on Saturday 12 August, due to arrive at Walton-on-Naze at 9.15am.

It will then run as a shuttle service between Walton and Colchester Town during the day, with the first departure at 9.30am, before leaving Walton for Liverpool Street at 8.15pm.

The event is raising money for St Helena Hospice. Tickets for the shuttle service have sold out but there are still some tickets available for the first journey of the day from London Liverpool Street to Walton-on-the-Naze.

Greater Anglia has sponsored one of the carriages and is also providing transport for a group of disadvantaged children from London who are travelling to Walton on Tornado for a special day at the seaside as guests of Walton Pier.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “This is a fantastic way to celebrate the heritage of our railway while also raising money for a very worthy local charity.

“It is remarkable to think about how much the railway has changed since Walton-on-the-Naze station opened 150 years ago.

“We are now transforming the railway again by replacing all of the trains on our network with brand new state-of-the-art modern trains to provide more seats and faster journeys for our passengers.

"We already see some fantastic community engagement through the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership through special events and caring for our stations and it's good to see more of the community getting involved with our railway."

Cllr Platt said: “I very much welcome the collaboration between the various agencies and voluntary groups that have worked together to deliver this amazing event.
“Safety is our biggest priority throughout the day and we would ask that everybody takes into consideration the number of people using the rail network on this special day.”

Due to the expected number of people attending the event, only people with tickets for Tornado or Greater Anglia services will be able to access Walton station on Saturday.

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