This book takes an in-depth look at the small independent railway that was financed and built by the good citizens of Halstead and its surrounding villages in Essex. The CV&HR came into being in 1860 but struggled financially for a number of years before being put into receivership. However, in the late nineteenth century it made steady progress and reached its financial and traffic peak in the years leading up to the First World War. Absorbed into the LNER in 1923, and passing into state ownership in 1948, the line ceased to carry passengers from 1 January 1962 and closed completely in April 1965. Yet a small portion of the line has since been rebuilt from scratch at Castle Hedingham. The reader is invited to view the stations and locomotives of this historic railway, witnessing the line in its prime and in the years since its closure. Some stations have survived remarkably well, while others have been totally destroyed. But many artefacts from the old line survive as part of the Castle Hedingham restoration undertaken by dedicated enthusiasts. The story of this project and the railway to which it pays homage is revealed through this varied selection of images and their authoritative captions.
Andy T. Wallis was educated at Simon Balle School, Hertford before joining the Royal Navy, where he served for six years, some of which was spent on HMS Ark Royal. He is a volunteer on the Colne Valley Railway, a heritage steam railway, and has been a member of the preservation society since 1978. He has held various posts within the organization as Honorary Secretary, Editor of the newsletter and for the last 8 years as Chairman. After worked for the railways for 31 years, and now spends his spare time writing or volunteering on the Colne Valley Railway. He lives in King's Lynn, Norfolk.