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(c) Malcolm Pym

Saturday 18th June 2016

A small group of nine members met at Liverpool Street station to travel to Burnham-on-Crouch. We travelled on the 10:14 Southend Victoria service, changing at Wickford. Here we met two more members and travelled to Burnham-on-Crouch on the Southminster Branch.

From here we had a slow walk to the museum on part of a busy road with no pathway!

On arrival, via a long gravel drive, we entered the site and found a Class 03 diesel shunter with and a Canadian Pacific ‘Caboose’ attached.

After formalities, we met John Jolly the owner of the museum. The museum was inaugurated in 1986 when John decided to stop farming and start a museum.

Our first ride was in the Caboose behind 03089 on about a mile of track. All the buildings are recovered from various locations in the East of England.

After a walk around the reserve collection, and over a cup of tea, John explained that he saw the Caboose in Canada and had a lot of problems in getting it back to England. It is so tall it had to be removed from its bogies.

On site there is a fabulous museum with lots of railway artefacts and rolling stock.

A Class 31 and 47 are on site, plus several steam locomotives which are under restoration. Around half a dozen diesel shunters are also here, and run the service for the public.

There is also some LUL stock and two grounded Eastern Counties Railway coach bodies which are in very good condition. There are several items of freight rolling stock from various companies – the most interesting is the only LT&S wagon still in existence. It was originally a vacuum cleaner wagon! There are some EMU vehicles which are used as push-pull with the diesel shunters on the railway.

Surprisingly there are no ex-railway staff that operate the railway.

At around 3pm, we said our farewells and made for the bus stop at the cemetery entrance.

We travelled by bus to Southminster itself, and made our way to the Station Arms. All too soon it was time to catch our train back to London via Wickford.

Mangapps Farm Railway