A STEAM-POWERED tourist attraction has re-opened its doors to visitors after landing nearly £30,000.

Trains started running at Colne Valley Railway, in Castle Hedingham, after the station re-opened on Sunday.

The station is run by Colne Valley Railway Preservation Society which started as a business in 1974 before becoming a registered charity in 2015.

The team of volunteers have operated and developed the railway over the past 40 years, and since 2016 have owned the site and the railway collection.

The railway needs about 15 volunteers to run each operating day, drawn from the membership of more than 400 people.

Sunday was the first time this year that visitors were able to go to the railway.

The railway was able to display the ‘We’re Good to Go’ mark to reassure visitors that the railway adheres to government and public health guidance.

The railway was able to to re-open after receiving £29,800 in grant money.

The money was part of a Covid-19 emergency grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

It is the second time the railway has received support from the fund.

The attraction was awarded a grant in 2016 which allowed it to buy the to buy the railway site, build a new entrance and create an interpretation museum, which opened in 2019.

The railway says the latest cash has allowed the charity to survive the initial impact of the pandemic as well as move forward earlier than originally anticipated.

Chairman Paul Lemon said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this grant at this difficult time, which ensures that the Colne Valley Railway will remain open on Sundays during the school summer holidays and we look forward to resuming a full programme of events in 2021.”

The railway says admission tickets must be bought in advance.

For more information, visit colnevalleyrailway.co.uk.