ERO Presents: Playing to the whistle: The railways of Essex and East Anglia*

For almost the last two centuries, railways, both main- and branch-lines, have dissected the county, taking commuters to the metropolis, goods to market and trippers to the seaside.

The advent of the railway opened up all sorts of opportunities for Essex residents and continues to do so today.

Join the Essex Records Office on Saturday 1 April for a one-day conference of talks on all different aspects of railways in Essex, from the first days of compulsorily purchasing of land and properties as the railways came out of London, the issues around making a ‘new’ steam locomotive to what it takes to run a railway in the 2020s.

With speakers from Greater Anglia to the Great Eastern Railway Society (GERS) and an exhibition of the art of Malcolm Root, we’re sure there will be plenty of interest in this event so make sure to book your ticket – as there's a limited number.

Registration and coffee from 10:00; an individual packed lunch is included in the ticket price. Delegates will be contacted nearer the event with lunch options.

Jonathan Denby - Greater Anglia Head of Corporate Affairs: Transforming the railway: meeting the challenges of the post-pandemic world
Alastair Southgate, Essex County Council Transport Strategy Lead: Moving Essex: the future role of rail travel
Colin Runeckles, Ilford Historical Society: The Impact of the Eastern Counties Railway on the village of Ilford in the late 1830s
Graham Rowland, The Holden F5 Locomotive Trust: Building a steam locomotive in the 21st century
Peter Walker, Chairman, Great Eastern Railway Society: All Things Great Eastern
Lyn Brooks, Archivist, Great Eastern Railway Society: Highlights of the GERS Historical Collection

Malcolm Root, transport artist: Picturing the past in colour

*'Playing to the Whistle' (painted 2006) by Malcolm Root FGRAT. His painting is of the Colne Valley branch line, c.1958, as is passes Halstead football pitch. In the right background is Portways Foundry, maker of the world-famous Tortoise stove; the waste product from the foundry formed much of the ballast of the railway track. The engine, a Colchester based J15 on an afternoon freight run, is just about to cross an unofficial footpath, a short-cut created by locals who wanted a cheap view of the football!'Playing to the whistle' is used by permission of Malcolm Root FGRA

Event details


April 1, 2023


10:00am - 3:30pm



Who for?

For the whole family


Essex Record Office

Wharf Road, Chelmsford, Essex, England, CM2 6YT

How to book

Book online

Booking required.

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