A HERITAGE railway is “delighted” to be showing off its new facilities after a £1.7million refurbishment.

Colne Valley Railway in Castle Hedingham has been rebuilding its site with Heritage Lottery funding and is showcasing its newly-transformed features.

From Easter, visitors will be able to see some important parts of the ‘All aboard, re-developing the Colne Valley Railway’ project.

This will include a new interactive museum, extended mini railway and free car park, as well as a gift shop and reception building.

A full range of activities is planned in 2019 at the new-look railway site, starting with a new members’ day on March 24.

Business development manager David Allen said: “Our volunteers have worked tirelessly to achieve an amazing result so far giving hundreds of hours of their time to deliver this project for the community and beyond. Everyone is very excited.”

The members’ day is aimed at would-be volunteers, who are invited to go along to two sessions on March 24, at 11am and 2pm, to meet the current skilled volunteers and learn about what they do.

Mr Allen said: “To preserve the important local heritage railway for future generations, this project has succeeded in safeguarding the site, but we cannot continue without our dedicated volunteers.

“We don’t require anyone with specific railway knowledge as we have areas around the site that can meet all needs, such as front of house and reception, maintenance and gardening, carpentry work and signal box work.”

The railway is also planning on building a new Cubitt Centre, which will be used to restore carriages.

The site for the centre is being prepared so construction can start shortly.

Bosses plan to employ two engineering staff to work on the railway’s fleet of passenger carriages as well as two apprentices to learn about the restoration process.