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Iconic railway museum ‘hit hard’ by crisis reopens

PUBLISHED: 16:51 31 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:51 31 July 2020

The East Anglian Railway Museum has warned its future is uncertain amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM

The East Anglian Railway Museum has warned its future is uncertain amid the coronavirus crisis. Picture: EAST ANGLIAN RAILWAY MUSEUM

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The popular East Anglian Railway Museum, which provides a living record of the region’s transport history, has reopened after being “hit hard” by the Covid-19 crisis.

The N7 outside the Restoration Shed at the East Anglian Railway Museum. The museu has reopened following coronavirus. Picture: DAVID REEVEThe N7 outside the Restoration Shed at the East Anglian Railway Museum. The museu has reopened following coronavirus. Picture: DAVID REEVE

The volunteer-run facility, near the Chappel viaduct over the A1124 at Chappel station, near Colchester, has been dedicated to preserving the area’s train heritage for the past 25 years.

However, the coronavirus lockdown meant that a packed season of steam and diesel event had to be postponed or cancelled, along with many of its major fundraising events.

MORE: ‘Crisis has hit hard’ - future ‘uncertain’ for iconic East Anglian Railway Museum

These include the popular August Thomas The Tank Engine Adventures and the September Chappel Beer Festival, which is attended by thousands.

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A spokesman for the site, which had been enjoying a rise in visitor numbers, said at the time: “The museum is a registered charity and relies heavily on income from events, annual memberships, ticket sales, visitor spend in the shop and cafe as well as railway experience courses and donations.

“The crisis has hit hard and their future is uncertain.”

However, the museum has now reopened for the first weekend of August, with people able to tour the static displays as well as enjoy refreshments in the cafe.

Access is restricted to some buildings and opening times are currently limited to Fridays, Saturday and Sundays only.

It is also hoped some smaller scale events can be held in the future.

More information and advanced ticketing for museum viewing can be found at the East Anglian Railway Museum website.


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