Colne Valley Railway has added an interactive museum to expansion plans currently being considered by Braintree Council.
The Castle Heddingham heritage line last month applied for permission to build a new entrance, parking and a reception building after being awarded £66,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to draw up the proposal.
Now it has added a new museum to the application, a 120-square-metre building to be built behind the existing museum.
The new building would house interactive displays, film screenings and exhibits.
The railway was almost thrown off its site last year by its owner, who relented and agreed to sell off a portion of the land.
The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded the railway funding to develop plans to buy and improve part of the site.
A further £1.7 million will be required to buy the land and carry out work to build a new reception building, entrance and parking facilities.
The railway, which has 400 active members and is visited by 40,000 every year, will hear at the end of the month whether its bid for the funding has been successful.
There will also be four full time members of staff employed to work on the railway, up from the current one person.
A decision on the planning application is due by May.
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