The manager of an award winning railway is set to leave his post at the end of the month.

Simon Hanney started at Epping Ongar Railway (EOR) in 2006 as a volunteer and became the organisation’s first general manager in 2010.

Mr Hanney leaves the position to take up his new role as Head of Sales and Marketing at Swanage Railway on the South Coast on January 31.

“The move is a good opportunity to work for a larger concern and it will also put me closer to some family in Dorset.”

During his time at the railway Mr Hanney has helped restore buildings and equipment as well as attracting a rising number of tourists and improving services on the line.

He said: “It’s developed beyond recognition.

It seems like only a few short years ago that North Weald signal box was a shell with no windows or stairs, stations ram-shackled and many doubting if we would ever see a steam engine running.

“The team have a great can-do attitude and it’s great to see everyone enjoying the fruits of their labour when we put on successful events for the community.

“I’m delighted to have been part of the railway and to have helped get it back on track.

“I am proud to have worked alongside the friendly and dedicated team and turned it into an award winning railway.”

EOR Managing Director, Roger Wright, said: “I would like to thank Simon for all his efforts over the last few years and wish him all the very best in his future role.”