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Latest News

28th March 2023.

A significantly historic locomotive has been acquired by Mangapps Railway- No. 11103 (later D2203) which was one of the four Drewry 0-6-0 diesel mechanical locomotives supplied to British Railways in 1952 to replace the elderly Great Eastern Railway steam tram engines on the Wisbech & Upwell Tramway and at Ipswich Docks.

As both these lines ran along public roads, the locos were required to be fitted with side skirts and "cow-catchers" to avoid causing injury or alarm to passers-by and horses!
11103 has historic significance in that it is the sole survivor of that initial order of four locos, which eventually expanded to a large fleet of Class 04 and the almost identical Class 03 locos, built over the next 10 years. It is also the only surviving loco to have worked on the iconic Wisbech & Upwell Tramway (for a few weeks in 1952, before being transferred to Gt.Yarmouth Docks) where, incidentally, it and it's sister locos became the inspiration for the character "Mavis" in the "Thomas the Tank Engine" stories whose author, the Rev. W. Awdry , lived next to the W. & U. line.

The introduction of these small diesel locos also gave the Wisbech & Upwell line the distinction of being the first British Railways line to be entirely dieselised, the start of a process that was completed countrywide in 1968.

11103 was withdrawn from BR service in 1967, along with many other small diesel locos, as a result of the Beeching cuts. It was sold to a concrete products company in Hemel Hempstead, Herts., where it worked until purchased for preservation in 1989 by a group at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway in N. Yorkshire, where it has worked until 2020. A leaking radiator, plus the disruption caused by Covid 19, has mean't that it has not worked for over two years and it's owners offered it for sale.

Thus 11103 joins Mangapps' fleet, which already includes seven "Drewry" design locos of BR classes 03 & 04 and the similar industrial version. Our first priority is to complete the radiator repairs, which should enable the loco to run again, then undertake further mechanical work where necessary and restore it to, as near as possible, it's original condition and appearance.








Next weekend is August Bank Holiday weekend, so it's time for the Mangapps Gala!

Due to the ongoing Covid situation this year's event will be slightly scaled-down, but on Sunday and Monday all available locos from our home fleet will be in service- 03089, 03399, D2325 & 31105 plus the 302s and some other unusual passenger stock.

Normal prices and opening times will apply and there's no need to book..



 " D2325 draws a passenger train into Mangapps Station during August 2020.

She'll be back at work from May 22nd 2021!"





I have just heard from the sad news that Peter Batchelor, one of our longest serving volunteers, has died of Covid 19.

Peter has been a driver at Mangapps since we started steam operations in 1989. He was also roster clerk and treasurer of the North London Locomotive Preservation Society, later the East Essex Locomotive Preservation Society.
He was a real gentleman, keen, friendly and well respected and will be sadly missed by everyone.

The Jolly family send our deepest condolences to his wife Christine and his family.




Following our re-opening to the public on August 1st, we have enjoyed a remarkably successful two months of operation under Covid 19 rules. However, as a result of the recent rise in viral infections and the increased level of regulations imposed by the Government in an attempt to stem the rise, we have decided to close Mangapps Railway after our next advertised open afternoon on Saturday 26th September, until further notice. 

This has been a very difficult decision, as it seems likely that the closure may be prolonged, but working under current regulations and conditions imposes considerable strain and risk on our staff and volunteers and it would be unfair to them to continue to open in the present circumstances.

We shall continue to work on improving our facilities and conserving our collections during the closure period, so that when we re-open,

Mangapps Railway will be better than ever. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2021.



Having operated very successfully within Covid 19 rules since August 1st, we have decided to add something extra to our timetable for August Bank Holiday.

Unfortunately, we can't operate our usual August Gala, but we'll make the weekend as interesting, enjoyable and safe as the rules will allow.

In addition to our "new normal" Wednesdays and Saturdays, we shall be open on Bank Holiday Monday. On Saturday 29th and Monday 31st we shall open at the earlier time of 11.30am and shall be operating as many of our diesel fleet as possible, including D2325, 03089, 03399 and 31105.

This weekend will also be the ideal time to see our much expanded Museum, loco and carriage sheds- many of our visitors so far in August have described the improvements as;


See what you think!




First post-lockdown trains at Mangapps

Credited-to-Joshua Cooper
Credited-to-Joshua Cooper

Credited-to-Bradley Phillips
Credited-to-Bradley Phillips



At last, we're ready to welcome visitors back to Mangapps!

Following many months of improving and enlarging our facilities plus, more recently, adapting to the requirements of the Covid 19 precautions, we shall reopen next weekend, August 1st and 2nd.
Train services will be operated by vintage carriages (the same set normally used for our "Santa Special" trains, which are ideal for socially distanced travel) hauled by one of our diesel locomotives. One-way systems will be in...place in our much-
enlarged museum buildings, making a visit to Mangapps Railway an even more enjoyable, interesting and safe experience.

Tickets, priced at a flat rate of £10 adult, £5 child (3 y.o.& under free) can be booked by ringing 01621 784898. Tickets will also be available on the gate, but pre-booking is preferred in order to guarantee your place. All payments must be by contactless card, face coverings must be worn on entry, in buildings and on the train (except pre-booked private compartments). The Railway will initially be open on;

Wednesdays and Saturdays only, from 1pm to 5pm, (last admissions 4pm) 

We look forward to seeing you!




30th Anniversary Gala

A flashback to August and the preparations for our brilliant 30th Anniversary Gala. Jim, Jon, Sonic, James/Jack, June & JJ are caught by the camera of Stuart Chapman. All except Jon (who's too young!) have done the full 30 years!


Big things are happening at Mangapps! Major building work is improving access and visitor experience, providing more secure covered accommodation for our locomotives and passenger rolling stock, historic goods wagons and museum displays.

We have also recently acquired a fully restored 1912 ex Great Northern Railway brake composite carriage, LNER no.4229 and a Great Northern Railway cattle van, which is being restored.

Our locomotive fleet is currently boosted by Peckett 0-4-0ST "Achilles" and Cl.03 diesel 03197,
both on loan over the winter.






31-105 and 31-233

It's been an exciting year at Mangapps! We have recently started major construction works which will double the covered space available for our locomotives and rolling stock, improve our operations and the experience of our visitors.
Our locomotives have been busy too, with 47 579 "James Nightall G.C." currently on loan to the Mid-Hants Railway and 03 089 & 03 399, back in traffic after a lengthy overhaul, visiting the Epping-Ongar and Isle of Wight Railways respectively. Work has started on the major restoration of 03 018 and we have also recently taken delivery of 31 105 and 31 233 from Network Rail, the last examples of this venerable class of locos to leave the national network.


Why we couldn't open at the weekend!

Snow Clearing


Snowdrifts up to five feet deep near Old Heath Station, cleared on Sunday March 4th by our former British Railways snowplough, propelled by locomotives 03 081 & 03 089. The first time in over 20 years that our snowplough had been used "in anger" and probably the first time that "03s" have been used on a snowplough, certainly in preservation.




To download a clip, click below
The Darkest Hour



Mangapps will reopen for the 2018 season on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th March. As usual, diesel trains will be in operation every weekend thereafter, with steam trains running over all four days of the Easter weekend

Last autumn and winter has had it's ups and downs, with very changeable weather and the dreaded flu, but also the best "Santa Special" season ever, the release of the film "The Darkest Hour", in which our London "Tube" car played a major supporting role and some major additions to the Mangapps collection.

The largest new addition is the former Great Eastern Railway signal box from Halesworth, Suffolk. Built in 1882, this box controlled trains through the East Suffolk line station until made redundant by the introduction of Radio Electronic Token Block signalling in 1986. Thanks to the efforts of one of its resident signalmen, the late Peter Punchard, supported by a small group of local enthusiasts, including Mangapps museum curator John Jolly, the box was saved from demolition and relocated to the nearby Halesworth Middle School. Unfortunately the school closed in 2007 and the box, now minus its "ground floor" locking room, was moved again to County School Station, at the northern end of the Mid-Norfolk Heritage Railway. Sadly, the weather, helped by local vandals, led to serious deterioration in its condition and it was offered to Mangapps.

Halesworth Box is complete with its Saxby & Farmer lever frame, which is currently dismantled. The building is currently stored indoors to protect it from further deterioration and a decision will shortly be taken, whether it is to remain under cover as the centrepiece of a new, comprehensive signalling display or to return to being a working signal box, controlling the new track layout which is currently planned for Mangapps.

Another building which has arrived at Mangapps for restoration has no direct connection with railways! Basically, it's just a shed, but it is typical if many such buildings which were built and used in railway service. However, it has great interest to us at Mangapps, as it was built by the curator's grandfather, in about 1920, as a dairy at the then family farm at South Fambridge. It ceased to be used for that purpose in 1964, but has survived intact to be kindly donated to us by the present owner of the farm, Dan Squier. After restoration, it is intended to use the building to house our collection of railway milk churns and associated equipment.

The New Year has seen the arrival of a new locomotive! Peckett 0-4-0ST No 2087,formerly named "Gibraltar", has worked for many years at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre and before that, for Messrs Courtaulds Ltd.. It is currently "in ticket" and it is hoped to have her working at our spring steam events.
To balance 2087s arrival, our largest loco, class 47 diesel no. 47579 "James Nightall G C" has left for a three year stay at the Mid-Hants Railway. While in Hampshire, it is being re-fitted with vacuum brakes, which will be useful for operations at Mangapps and make it suitable for visits to other railways, most of whom only have vacuum-fitted rolling-stock. Incidentally, 47579 has plenty of Mangapps company at the Mid-Hants, where 33202 "Dennis G. Robinson" and 03197 are also currently on loan.

And now for something completely different!
It had been known for some time that a historic boat, designed, built and, for many years, operated out of Burnham, was languishing unloved in a boat yard on Canvey Island. The vessel in question is the oyster dredger "Vanguard", but apart from her interest as a traditional Burnham working boat, she has a greater claim to fame, being one of three boats which left Burnham in May 1940 to take part in the Dunkirk evacuation. "Vanguard" is credited with having rescued about 600 soldiers from the beach and is the only survivor of the three.

A few individuals from Burnham have been trying to save "Vanguard", which has suffered badly from the attentions of vandals. In the nick of time, agreement was reached for her to be given to the town of Burnham, money was donated to enable her to be transported- but where to take her? We at Mangapps were approached and were delighted to offer her a home for as long as required and so, after a very careful lifting operation by our friends at Sonic Rail Services, she is back in her home port- well, at Mangapps, anyway!



ex Great Eastern Railway signal box from Halesworth, Suffolk.

Mangapps Railway has recently acquired the ex Great Eastern Railway signal box from Halesworth, Suffolk. The box was built in 1882 and closed in 1986. It was initially preserved at the nearby Halesworth Middle School, mainly due to the efforts of former signalman Peter Punchard. However, when the school closed in 2007 it was removed to County School Station on the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Unfortunately, no restoration work took place on the fabric of the box and a combination of weather and vandalism made its future precarious. The MNR invited ideas for alternatives to demolition and we at Mangapps stepped in with an offer to remove it for preservation here in Essex- quite appropriate, as the first ideas for the formation of what became the Mangapps Railway Museum were discussed in Halesworth Signal Box in the early 1980s.

The main part of the box, the 'working floor' is complete and requires only relatively minor repairs. It also includes its original Saxby & Farmer lever-frame.

Work has already begun on initial repairs and stabilisation. It is intended that the box will be housed under cover and form the centrepiece of a major railway signalling display.





BR 2-6-4T No. 80078 worked passenger trains for the first time since a very extensive overhaul, on the Sunday and Monday of the Late Spring Bank Holiday Weekend.

The engine worked with no mechanical issues and the general opinion of our visitors was that she looked and sounded superb, a real credit to her owner, Stewart Robinson and his restoration team.

80078 will be in service for a special event at Mangapps on June 11th. (see our Opening Times page), after which she will be going to other railways, notably the Mid- Hants Railway's "End of Southern Steam" event on the first two weekends in July.




Biggest steam engine yet arrives at Mangapps!

British Railways Class 4MT locomotive no.80078, which has undergone a lengthy and thorough overhaul at the workshops of its owner Stewart Robinson, arrived at Mangapps yesterday (24/5/2017).
After necessary "fitness to run" tests, it will be in passenger service this Bank Holiday Monday.

80078 is the largest steam loco to have visited Mangapps to date. It has a strong Essex pedigree, having spent the first eight years after being built at British Railways' former Brighton Works in 1954, working on the London, Tilbury & Southend line between London Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness.



Mangapps' Underground car in new feature film.

Mangapps Railway's London "Tube" Driving Motor Car, which normally houses our Underground display,
has been dispatched to Leavesden Studios, Watford, to form part of the set of the new feature film

"The Darkest Hour"

A Second World War themed production starring Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill.

The car will be returning to Mangapps in time for the commencement of our new season in February.





Mangapps museum collection- still more to see!

The Mangapps museum collection has continued to grow during the summer, with significant additions in several areas. Several important items of Great Eastern Railway signage have been obtained, including rare original station signs from Rayne and Linton and a large enamel sign advertising the GERs shipping services between Harwich and the continent, aimed at the Scottish market. The Irish section has benefited from a very attractive Great Western Railway enamel sign advertising its services from Fishguard to Ireland and more items have been added to the Canadian collection.

We scour the world (well, almost!) to find interesting things to show our visitors, this year's trips having included journeys to Blackpool, Inverness and Vancouver!


Another successful August Gala.

The annual Mangapps August Gala, held over the Bank Holiday weekend, again featured all the railways operational locomotives at work, This was originally planned to be seven locos, but a special effort by some of our volunteers ensured that our biggest engine, 47 579 "James Nightall G. C.", was also returned to running order after several months out of service. This was a surprise wedding present for its owner, Mangapps partner James, who arrived home on Saturday with his bride Amanda, from their wedding and honeymoon cruise to the Norwegian fjords.

The unexpected return to service of 47 579 meant that visitors could see something that was unusual on the main line, let alone in preservation- a train double-headed by Class 47 and 31 locos.


A Mangapps "03" on the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight Steam Railway decided to hold their first Diesel Gala over the weekend of the 30th Sept & 1st/2nd Oct 2016 and asked if they could hire one of the Mangapps "dual-braked" 03 locos as visiting engine.
We were delighted to oblige and with the agreement of its owner, Stewart, 03 197 enjoyed a trip "overseas", even being transported on a low-loader lorry belonging to Stewart's company, SRS Ltd. During the Gala the loco was crewed by Mangapps staff. Some confusion was apparently caused when it ran sporting an "Essex Coast Express" headboard!!

The gala has been a great success and the IoWSR are hoping to repeat the event next year.


Mangapps reaches No.1!
In the past, Mangapps had never taken particular notice of "Tripadvisor", which may be why we have had relatively few reviews. However, this summer we have attracted a number of "excellent" reviews, which has propelled us to the No.1 spot, among 10 attractions in Burnham.


We have been most happy to receive this link below, from Mr Rob Whittaker, of his day at Mangapps.
Thank you Rob.


..........Whilst at Youtube, please check out the many other video's of Mangapps...........


Annual Report


Mangapp's 2015 season has been one of our most successful yet.
Visitor numbers are approximately 7% higher than in previous years.
Although Santa Special attendances were slightly depressed,
this was more than compensated for by Easter, August and October Galas.

No new rolling stock has been acquired during the year,
though several existing vehicles have been overhauled or refreshed.
However a new (very small!) building has been acquired as have
a number of new exhibits for the Museum collection.

We look forward with confidence towards the 2016 season.

John and June.




A small piece of Maldon's railway heritage.

B.R. Fogman's hut recovered from near Langford & Ulting Station, Maldon Branch, August 2015
B.R. Fogman's hut recovered from near Langford & Ulting Station, Maldon Branch, August 2015

It's not often, nowadays, that sizable pieces of our railway heritage are discovered in "the wild", but it's happened recently at Mangapps.

Some three years ago, a couple visiting Mangapps Railway told us of a small concrete building that still existed, almost hidden by vegetation, on the former railway near Maldon. On investigation it transpired that what they had found, about 100 metres east of the remains of Langford & Ulting Station, was a British Railways standard concrete Fogman's Hut, so well hidden by undergrowth that, although only three metres from the former trackbed, now a public footpath, Mangapps' curator walked past it twice before finding the building!

Now, in terms of railway architecture, it's no St.Pancras Station! However, it is an interesting link to a common element of railway operation which has disappeared from the modern railway, an example of an item of which few, if any, are preserved and, of course, part of our local railway heritage.

Huts of this type were introduced in about 1950 and replaced earlier wooden structures. They were used widely on British Railways to accommodate Fogmen. In the days of oil-lit semaphore signals and before the introduction of automatic warning systems, signals could become invisible to train drivers in fog or falling snow. It would then be necessary to call-out Fogmen, actually off-duty track workers, to attend signals and warn approaching trains of the signal indication, by showing an additional light and, most importantly, by placing explosive detonators on the rails, to give an audible warning.

This hut was adjacent to the Maldon "Down Distant" signal, the first indication to a driver that he was approaching the terminus. The Maldon branch line closed entirely in 1966, a victim of the Beeching cuts and after over thirty years of disuse, the former track was purchased by Essex County Council and turned into a public footpath, the "Maldon Rail Trail".

The hut had suffered some superficial damage as a result of almost fifty years of disuse and vandalism, but we felt that it justified being rescued.
We contacted the County Council, who kindly donated the hut to Mangapps Railway. However, it has taken almost three years to work out how to remove the structure without causing further damage and overcome complicated problems of access.

At last, early one August morning, a team of Mangapps volunteers, with the Railway's truck and trailer and a telescopic forklift loaned by Sonic Rail Services Ltd, arrived at Langford and the hut was quickly and safely recovered. Almost half a century after it was last passed by a train, it's back on a working railway.

Trains in the rain! (And a few sunny intervals)

Class 47, 03 & 04

Mangapps summer season has again culminated in the annual August Bank Holiday Gala, which was preceded, this year, by a special "Big Diesels Weekend" on the 22nd & 23rd.
Both weekends were well attended and enjoyable events, though visitor numbers were slightly depressed by the weather, the forecasts being generally appalling, with the actuality ranging from fair, to dull, showery and, on Bank Holiday Monday, constant rain.
We were particularly pleased, on B.H. Sunday, to entertain a coach party from the "Nameplate Club", a group of railwayana collectors accompanied by the Club's founder and leader, the well-known railwayana auctioneer Ian Wright.



In connection with our "Spring Gala" we have arranged a special temporary footpath access to Mangapps Railway, from Southminster Road.
This will avoid the need for pedestrian visitors to use the section of Southminster Road which has no roadside pavement.


Annual Report



More steam at Mangapps!

For the first time in many years, Mangapps is currently home to 3 operational steam locos, following the arrival of N.C.B. No.72, an "Austerity" 0-6-0ST, which is on short- term loan. The loco will be working alongside resident engines No. 8 "Fambridge" and "Empress" at our "Spring Steam Special" event on Easter Sunday & Monday, an opportunity to see 3 quite different former National Coal Board engines working together.

Our Spring Gala is being held in response to the success of last year's Silver Jubilee Gala, when we received numerous suggestions from visitors, that we should hold an additional spring event. What's more, we have something to celebrate- the momentous day, Good Friday 1990, when we were first able to carry passengers!

Things never stand still at Mangapps!

The Museum continues to grow. Among recent acquisitions are a number of items from the former London, Tilbury & Southend Railway, including the smoke-box numberplate from a loco (42520) which worked on the line, an unusual marked fire-bucket from Upminster, a pub sign, also from Upminster, which features the LT&SR coat of arms and the only known, surviving example of a LT&SR handlamp. These items will join the substantial collection of LT&S artifacts which are already part of the collection, in the unique "Vacuum Cleaner Van", the sole remaining complete item of LT&S rolling stock, which is currently being restored and prepared for it's role as a display vehicle.

Further additions have been made to our Irish collection, making it one of the largest collections (perhaps the largest) collection of railwayana from the Emerald Isle to be seen on the mainland.

Restoration progress.

Work is on-going on 4 locomotives- BR class 4MT 2-6-4T No 80078 is currently dismantled, but things are coming together; boiler work is complete and awaits the re-fitting of super-heater elements and tubes, return of the wheels from tyre-turning at Tyseley Locomotive Works is currently awaited, cylinders have been re-bored and delivery of new liners is expected shortly. Meanwhile, the axle-boxes are being overhauled and remaining repair work to the coal bunker is being attended to.

"Brookfield" (Bagnall 0-6-0PT of 1940) is being dismantled, the boiler is about to be removed ready for assessment, any repairs that prove necessary and re-tubing.

On the diesel front, 31430 "Sister Dora", which is operational, is receiving further body-work repairs, particularly to one of the cabs.

03 399 is being given an overhaul, including attention to the fuel injection equipment, brakes and minor body repairs and repainting.

Carriage & Wagon work has included panelling repairs to the ex GNR Gresley coach used mainly on our steam trains, fitting a waterproof cover to a North Eastern Railway 20 ton coal hopper wagon, and repairing and repainting the "Crocodile", the ex Royal Navy railway gun mounting wagon ready for its centenary, which falls this year.




The Mangapps Silver Jubilee Gala

Was the best attended Mangapps Gala to date,
in spite of steady rain almost all day on Bank Holiday Monday.

The record number of visitors were able to see and ride behind a total of 6 diesel locos on Saturday
and 5 diesel and 2 steam locos on Sunday and Monday.

The only slight disappointment was that Martin Staniforth's Class 31 diesel, 31 430 "Sister Dora", failed on her last run on Saturday afternoon, with minor braking problems.
Inability to obtain spares at short notice meant that she was unable to perform on Sunday and Monday.

Visitors came from as far afield as Exeter, Liverpool and N. Yorkshire and I was asked, several times, whether it would be possible to run a similar event in the Spring, as they couldn't wait another whole year!



Locomotives expected to be operating at the Mangapps Silver Jubilee Gala,
23rd, 24th & 25th August 2014 are as follows-

Diesel locos-

47 579 "James Nightall G.C,", 31 430 "Sister Dora", 03 081, 03 089, 03 197, D 2325 & "Elland No 1".

Steam locos-

(Sunday & Monday only)
"No.8" and "Empress".


Crouch Valley Line 125th anniversary.

Over the past few weeks, celebrations of the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Wickford-Southminster branch line, now known as the Crouch Valley Line, have been held at stations along the line. Last Friday, the 11th of July, Mangapps' managing partner and curator, John Jolly, was delighted to be among invited guests at Wickford Station, to see John Whittingdale O.B.E, M.P. name one of the Class 321 electric trains that operate on the line "Crouch Valley 1889-2014". After a celebratory trip on the train to Burnham, John Jolly was surprised and delighted to be presented, by train operator Abellio Greater Anglia, with a mounted replica nameplate for permanent display at Mangapps. We are delighted to be associated with the continued success of "our" local railway!

The very latest on "Sister Dora"!

Following further testing of the loco's electrical system, Martin Staniforth's Class 31 diesel has moved under her own power, for the first time since withdrawal in 1999.
Martin is confident that she will be running at the Mangapps Gala Event over the August Bank Holiday.

Watch this space for further announcements about locos running at this, our special 25th Anniversary Gala!


Progress on 31430 'Sister Dora'

Since the engine was started in January2014, work has progressed sorting various electrical issues, as yet the loco has not taken power.

Body work repairs continue on cab2 which is nearly finished externally, cab1 will be started shortly.



31430 33063 axel box dungeness 33065 80078 001.jpg 31430 33063 axel box dungeness 33065 80078 002.jpg
31430 33063 axel box dungeness 33065 80078 003.jpg 31430 33063 axel box dungeness 33065 80078 004.jpg




2014 is an important year in Mangapps calendar.

It is Mangapps 25th Anniversary.
It is also the 60th birthday of ‘Empress’(formerly Demelza).
‘Empress’ was Mangapps first working steam engine.
She worked at Mangapps for 10 years until 1999 when she
had to be withdrawn for her 10 yearly overhaul.
She remained out of service for 15 years and now she has
rejoined Mangapps fleet of  working engines and will be
working on the late May Bank Holiday Sunday
and Monday.  

Class 47. James Nightall has come back home to Mangapps
after being on hire to the Mid- Norfolk Railway and the East
Lancs Railway. It is the 50th birthday of this diesel loco and
the 70th anniversary of the death of James Nightall.
(see details of this brave man on the brass plate on the loco)


It is also the 125th Anniversary of the Southminster/Burnham
Branch  Line.




A Quarter Century of Progress!

Welcome to the first Mangapps News of 2014.

2013 was a "game of two halves"; the first six months was, in trading terms, slow, due to the uncertain economic climate and miserable weather conditions, but the situation improved greatly from mid-summer onwards, resulting in the best August Gala yet, an excellent Transport Gala in October and one of our best-ever "Santa Special" seasons.

We begin the 2014 season on February 1st with the expectation of a momentous year ahead; it is 25 years since Mangapps Railway opened to the public and this will be celebrated with a special Gala on the actual anniversary, over August Bank Holiday weekend. We shall also be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the opening of the Great Eastern Railway lines to Southminster, Southend and Maldon.

Every year since 1989, Mangapps has introduced new features and developments; 2014 will be no exception!

Progress on locomotive restoration means that at least one and possibly two, additional steam locos will enter service during the year.
The return of our Class 47 diesel loco from the Mid-Norfolk Railway means that we shall have a main-line diesel available during the summer and the recent "first start-up" of 31 530 raises the possibility of a second "big" diesel in service.

Numerous additions have been made to our museum collections and we shall shortly be starting the renovation of another museum building. A further attraction which has been developed in recent months is the model railway- an extensive vintage Hornby-Dublo layout, which fits well with our aim; to transport you to the past!




Mangapps Museum has recently made several new additions to it's collections, including an extensive vintage model railway.

The layout consists of original "Hornby-Dublo" products, produced by Meccano Ltd. between 1938 and 1964, most of which are over 60 years old and some almost 75.

Hornby-Dublo was the first widely available "00" scale electric train and marked the transition from toy trains to model railways. Throughout the 1940s and 50s a Hornby-Dublo train set was every boy's dream Christmas present, so it's entirely appropriate that Mangapps model railway, named "Edward's Railway" after its owner, our youngest volunteer, will be running in conjunction with our "Santa Special" event.


Another Mainline Diesel for Mangapps!

Loco number 31 530 has been purchased by a Mangapps volunteer and is expected to arrive at the railway later this month, probably before our August Gala Weekend.
The loco is partially restored and is in good mechanical condition, but requires attention to it's electrical equipment and bodywork.


Provisional Loco Roster for August Gala- 33202, 03081, 03089. 03197, 03399, D2325. "Elland No1" and R.O.F.8 No.8 (the latter on Sunday & Monday only.)



Mangapps Locomotive Status- 13/05/2013.

Locomotives currently operational-

A. Barclay 0-4-0ST No.2157 "R.O.F.8 No.8"

B.R. Class 47 Co-Co 47 579 "James Nightall G.C." (Currently on loan to Mid-Norfolk Rly)

B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 197.

B.R.Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 399.

B.R. Class 04 0-6-0DM D2325.

Hudswell-Clarke 0-4-0DM. "Elland No.1"

Locomotives undergoing repair/restoration-

Bagnall 0-6-0ST No.3061 "Empress" - Major firebox repairs/retube nearing completion. Expected back in traffic August 2013.

Hunslet 0-6-0ST No.469 "Hastings" - Boiler & firebox repairs in progress, expected completion date early 2015.

Barclay 0-4-0ST No.1619 "Toto". Long-term restoration progressing.

B.R. Std. Class 4 2-6-4T No.80078- Loco dismantled, boiler work ongoing. Expected completion date late 2014.

B.R. Class 33 Bo-Bo No. 33 202 "Dennis G. Robinson" - Major body overhaul nearing completion, expected to be in service by August 2013.

B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM 03 081, receiving minor attention to power unit, returning to traffic shortly.

B.R. Class 03 0-6-0DM No. 03 089, undergoing body repairs & repaint, expected in traffic by August 2013.

Locomotives on static display-

Fox-Walker 0-6-0ST No.358 "Minnie"

Bagnall 0-6-0PT No. 2613 "Brookfield"

Locomotives in store-

Drewry 0-6-0DM No. "11104"

Drewry 0-4-0DM "Army 226".


Annual Report


Another successful year at Mangapps.

We had entered 2012 with serious misgivings about the year ahead, particularly concerning the likely effects of the forthcoming Silver Jubilee, the Olympic Games, and the continuing national economic problems. In the event, our worries have proved unfounded, with a 6% increase in visitor numbers over the previous year, in spite of our being forced to increase ticket prices to counter increased costs.

Major progress has been made in other areas- restoration has been completed on two of our diesel locomotives, 47579 and 03197, and both have entered regular service for the first time in preservation.
R.O.F. No.8, our regular steam loco, suffered a number of boiler tube failures during the summer and, as it was nearing the end of it's 10 year boiler certificate, it was decided to embark on a "high speed" overhaul. This was completed in only three months and No.8 successfully completed its boiler test in time to operate our "Santa Special" season.

Work has continued on various rolling stock restoration projects, including completion of the major restoration of two Great Eastern Railway vans, and the planned maintenance of track and infrastructure.
The Museum has benefited from a large number of new acquisitions across all areas of the collection, helping to justify further its reputation as one of the largest, perhaps the largest, in southern England.
John Jolly, Managing Partner.



Woodings railcar, type CBL, ex CPR

Woodings railcar, type CBL, ex CPR


Mangapps has recently obtained an addition to it's "Canadian" collection, a Canadian Pacific Railway inspection car or "speeder".

Built by the Woodings Railcar Co. of Lancaster, Ontario, the car was obtained, not from Canada, but from West Wales where it had been imported in 2000 by a Welsh gentleman and railway enthusiast who had spent much of his working life in Canada.




80078 arrives in Essex

80078 returns to Essex!

British Railways Standard Class 4 2-6-4T loco 80078, which spent most of it's working life on the London, Tilbury & Southend line, has returned to it's former home county. The loco has been purchased by a Mangapps volunteer, and arrived at a secure private loco restoration facility near Burnham-on-Crouch on 26/10/2012.

The engine, formerly based at the Swanage Railway, has been out of service for three years, following the expiry of it's 10 year boiler certificate. It is complete and in generally good condition and an overhaul will commence in early 2013.

On completion of the overhaul, the loco's new owner intends to take it, for a period of "running in", to Mangapps, after which it will be made available for hire to other railways.


47579 1030 Dereham to Wymondham Crownthorpe 190912 courtesy of S Goodrum

"Mangapps in Norfolk!"
47 579 "James Nightall G.C.", on loan to the Mid Norfolk Railway, hauling the 1030 train from Dereham to Wymondham through Crownthorpe on 19/9/2012. Photo. courtesy of S. Goodrum.


47 579 visits Mid-Norfolk.

Mangapp's largest locomotive, the 120 ton 47 579 "James Nightall G.C.", left Mangapps by road on Saturday, 15th, bound for the Mid-Norfolk Railway at Dereham, where it will take part in the MNR's "Class 47 Golden Jubilee " event on Sept. 21st, 22nd & 23rd. The loco will remain on loan to the MNR until spring 2013..


Stars of the show, 03 197 and 47 579


Mangapps Railway Museum's Annual Gala, held over the August Bank Holiday weekend, has been the most successful yet, in spite of an unpromising weather forecast and torrential showers during Saturday.

In previous years the Saturday has been a dedicated Diesel Gala, with Sunday and Monday featuring both steam and diesel services. However, this year the whole weekend's services were provided by diesel locomotives, resulting in our best attendance yet and very positive feedback, with visitors travelling from as far afield as Bristol and Gateshead.

Locomotives operating passenger trains through the weekend were-

47 579 "James Nightall G.C."

(First time in full operation after preservation and restoration)

03 197

(First time operating in preservation)

03 081


03 089


03 399




In addition two of our industrial locomotives, "Elland No.1" and a Ruston & Hornsby 48DS shunter, were in operation.
A further attraction which was well received by visitors was a model railway display by the Chelmsford Model Railway Club.


Mangapps Gala, 25th, 26th and 27th August.

In response to requests from visitors in previous years, this year we are making our Summer Gala an entirely Diesel event.

The ex British Railways locomotives operating over the three days are as follows- D2325, 03 081, 03 089, 03 197, 03 399 and 47 579.

47 579 "James Nighthall G.C." is now completely restored, this will be it's first operational appearance at a Mangapps Gala.

03 197 will be running for the first time in preservation, and the first time in a quarter of a century!

Locomotives and trains will be changed regularly throughout each day and all operations are, of course, subject to availability.


New steam loco building at Mangapps!

The Holden F5 Steam Locomotive Trust, based here at Mangapps, are building a new example of this classic Great Eastern Railway 2-4-2T locomotive, a class which worked throughout East Anglia, including the Southminster and Maldon branchlines.

The "new-build" scheme received a major boost on 1st June with the delivery of the main frame plates from Tata Steel. Although several components, including the smokebox, bunker and buffer beams are already here, the frames are the basis of a locomotive, from which it derives it's idenitity. So now F5 no.67218 really exists!

Mangapps Museum continues to enlarge and improve it's collection. Recent additions include the British Railways enamel station sign from Hockley, LNER signalbox nameboard from Shenfield , the unique "rebuild" works-plate from London, Tilbury & Southend Railway loco no.14, "Leigh" and a Great Eastern Railway style handlamp from Southminster station. To illustrate the range of our collections, other recent aquisitions include a very rare Great Eastern Railway telegraph insulator, a uniform button from the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railway and a Canadian Pacific Railway caboose stove!



Mangapps in the Movies!

Daniel Radcliffe with Edward Burbidge and Bear, Mangapps, October 2010

This month sees the launch of the new period thriller "Woman in Black" starring Daniel Radcliffe.

Look out for the "on train" scene, which was shot here at Mangapps, using Gresley "Restaurant Pantry 3rd" carriage No.9066.



Mangapps Railway Hedge Trimming

It is almost 25 years since the start of the construction of Mangapps Railway and it does not take long for nature to take a railway back (take note, HS2 protesters!) In order to ensure the safe running of our trains, this winter we have given our line sides a haircut (see picture above).

The hedges will not look bare for long; experience shows that hedges trimmed at this time of year regrow more vigorous and healthy than before, good news for the dozens of species of wild life that call them home.


Our stock list has been comprehensively updated and corrected and now includes a full inventory of our collection of goods wagons and departmental vehicles.


Mangapps buys giant vacuum cleaner!

London, Tilbury & Southend Rly. Vacuum Cleaning Van No.1857 the sole remaining example of an LT&SR carriage or wagon
London, Tilbury & Southend Rly. Vacuum Cleaning Van No.1857 the sole remaining example of an LT&SR carriage or wagon

M.R.M. has aquired a railway vehicle which is unique in two ways- it is the last surviving complete item of rolling stock from the London, Tilbury& Southend Railway and is the only known example of a purpose built Vacuum Cleaning Van.

The vehicle was built at the LT&SR's works at Plaistow in 1912, but later migrated to the Manchester area and, later still, was used as a mobile battery charger by British Rail. It was consigned to a scrap yard at Wigan in the early 1980s but was rescued by a group of volunteers from Astley Green Colliery Museum, from whom it has now been purchased.

The van, which is of a most unusual design, is externally "as built" and is in basically sound condition, though it will require extensive repairs to the steel cladding.

We would like to thank fellow preservationists Tony Lyster and Steve Erlicher and also Geoff Jones, of Astley Green Museum, for helping to facilitate the aquisition.




The caboose is here!


An old Caboose on the end of a BNSF freight--Uploaded by fastrains56 on 17 Jun 2011

2.33mins Wait till the end!
Our Caboose travelling through Illinois USA, en route to England.

For the first time ever, a caboose, an icon of US and Canadian railways, has arrived in the UK. The 30 year old vehicle was built in Montreal by the Canadian Pacific Railway and travelled many thousands of miles through  mountains and prairies until withdrawn from service in 2004.

It is in excellent original condition and was repainted within a week of its arrival at Mangapps, by a group of volunteers from the Ford Motor Co.

You may have seen a picture of a caboose, or seen them in Hollywood films, but now, for the first time, you can inspect one close-up, right here in England!

The Mangapps Railway has had an excellent summer, with visitor numbers slightly up on 2010. The main season ended with the annual Mangapps Gala over the August Bank Holiday weekend. This event continues to grow in popularity, with visitors particularly enjoying the variety of locos and rolling-stock in use in an authentic environment.

Recent rolling-stock arrivals, apart from the caboose, are an LNWR van and an early LMS brake-van.

The museum "small exhibits" collection continues to grow, recent additions range from a huge (24'x12')  British Rail flag, a very large French locomotive headlamp and, at the other end of the scale, a Great Eastern Railway  teaspoon.

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