Witham-Maldon branch line

Witham-Maldon branch line

The Witham-Maldon branch line is a closed railway line between Witham and Maldon in Essex, England. The railway was built between Braintree and Maldon by the Maldon, Witham & Braintree Railway crossing the Eastern Counties Railway at Witham and opened to Maldon on 2 October 1848 (opened for goods traffic on 18 April 1848). convert|5.75|mi|km long, [cite book|author=R.S. Joby|title=Forgotten Railways East Anglia|year=1977|id=ISBN 0715373129|publisher=David & Charles]

Most of the railway was built economically using timber instead of bricks, [cite book|title=Lost Railways of East Anglia|author=Leslie Oppitz|id=ISBN 1853065951|publisher=Countryside Books|year=1999] however the station at Maldon was built far grander than necessary as one of the railways political financiers was seeking local re-election and extended the employment of the railway workers to improve his chances. An original brick built goods shed was demolished in mid 2008 just weeks before being considered for listed status.

There were six timber trestle viaducts on the line; the one near (coord|51.775|N|0.6426|E|region:GB_type:landmark) the former Wickham Bishops station is the only remaining and is a Scheduled Monument. [cite web|url=http://unlockingessex.essexcc.gov.uk/custom_pages/monument_detail.asp?content_page_id=89&monument_id=27153&content_parents=48,175&monument_type_id=&monument_name=&search_related=&admin_area_id=&period_from=&period_to=&selPeriod=&selStatus=&evidence_type=&media_type_id=&media_what=&easting=&northing=&grid_square=&freetext_content=&smr_number=&name=&email=&address=&q1=&q2=&q3=&q4=&q5=&q6=&q7=&q8=&q9=&mailme=&comments=#
title=Wickham Bishops - timber trestle bridge|publisher=Essex County Council
]

Although closed to passengers on 7 September 1964 and freight on 18 April 1966 the section from Witham to Braintree remains open as the Braintree Branch Line. Approximately half a mile of the branch from Witham station toward Maldon was used as a siding serving an industrial area for delivery of steel by railway, this section closed in the early 1980s after a rail strike and is now a cycle/walkway. The section of line into the old east station in Maldon has been used as the route for a new road into the Fullbridge area. The section of trackbed linking the two former railway stations in Maldon has been used as the route of the Maldon bypass to the west of the town.

References


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