Leaves on the line are consider to be one of the staple excuses given to customers – and branch lines like ours are usually the worst affected.  It came as a surprise to many of us to learn what Leaf Fall means and the work that goes into keeping trains running.

Network Rail have a video on their website that tells you all about Leaves on the Line.  It’s a great educational piece that helps you see some of the challenges faced by train operators and Network Rail in the autumnal weather as well as some of the facts about the 2.5 million trees along the railways. 

Click here to visit the Network Rail webpage – or view the video below.

 

Santa TrainOur annual Santa Train took place on 6 December, with trains full of people as we travelled from Southminster to Wickford and back.  Santa and Rudolph went through the train, talking to all the children along the way.  Each child received a present and an activity pack, with a word search, colouring in and games.

Working in partnership with the Haven Hospice this year, refreshments were provided at Wickford Station which raised £600 for the charity.

Images can be found by clicking Read More

Santa Arrives on Time

Green-fingered youngsters from an Essex primary school have helped improve their local rail station by planting a Millennium Yew Tree.

Children from the school council at St Andrew’s Church of England Primary in Weeley planted the tree at Weeley rail station on the Sunshine Coast Line on Wednesday 11 November. A total of 800 will be planted across the country to commemorate the signing of the Magna Carta, as part of The Conservation Foundation’s We Love Yew campaign to protect Britain’s ancient yew heritage.

The planting was organised by Robin Whitworth and his wife Ruth, who are station adopters at Weeley, voluntarily sparing their time to keep the site looking bright, clean and tidy.  Robin said: “I was pleased we were selected to receive one of these yews and and it was good to have the school council children helping to plant our tree. They did well.” 

Petrina Murphy, Area Customer Service Manager for Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “We’re very grateful to Robin and Ruth, and the children from St Andrew’ Primary for their hard work. We are very pleased that the station was chosen as the place to plant the yew.” 

David Shreeve, director of The Conservation Foundation said, “We are delighted that the children from St Andrew’s Primary are supporting Britain’s yew heritage by planting this special sapling at Weeley rail station. Our ancient yews are a very special part of our environment and cultural heritage. Over the centuries many important events, including the sealing of Magna Carta took place under a yew tree, which being evergreen, was reliably dry. They have their own myths and traditions. The yew is also a tree of contrast. Whilst it is well-known to have toxic qualities, it has also provided treatment for cancer sufferers.”

Lots of scary fun was had on the Halloween Train which ran on Sunday 1 November.  The specially decorated train has become so popular that we now have to run two trains taking up three carriages each. 

View more and the Halloween Train Gallery

Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership hosted the start of the Sea Shanty Festival on Saturday and Sunday the 10th & 11th October, the train was decorated with sea faring nets and lots of pirate attire!   The atmosphere was definitely lively with pirates and entertaining singing crews, encouraging the spirit of the Shanty Festival.  The children won prizes for name the parrot and the number of balls in the bag but also for the best dressed pirate!

You can view pictures from our event below

All aboard the Shanty Trains

 

You can buy tickets in advance for our event trains