Shenfield to Southend Line

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Shenfield to Southend Line
Southend Victoria railway station.JPG
Southend Victoria is the eastern terminus of the line
Type Commuter rail
System National Rail
Locale Essex
Termini Shenfield
Southend Victoria
Stations 9
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Abellio Greater Anglia
Depot(s) Ilford
Rolling stock British Rail Class 315
British Rail Class 321
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 25 kV 50 Hz AC OHLE
Operating speed 90 mph (140 km/h)
Route map
miles/chains from London Liverpool Street
Great Eastern Main Line
20m 16ch Shenfield
Shenfield Jn
To Colchester
24m 28ch Billericay
29m 02ch Wickford
29m 13ch Crouch Valley Line
33m 09ch Rayleigh
36m 01ch Hockley
38m 54ch Rochford
39m 44ch Southend Airport
40m 67ch Prittlewell(Closed on Sundays)
41m 42ch Southend Victoria

The Shenfield to Southend Line is a railway line in Essex, in the east of England, serving nine stations between Shenfield in the west and Southend Victoria, in the town of Southend-on-Sea, in the east. Upon departing Shenfield, the vast majority of services from Southend Victoria join the Great Eastern Main Line to Liverpool Street in London.

The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 7, SRS 07.05 and is classified as a London and South East commuter line.[1]


The line has been electrified at different times using three different systems, all of which use overhead lines to carry the electric current. The first system used was 1500 V d.c., commissioned in 1956,[2] following the commissioning of the main line from London to Shenfield in 1949.[3] This was to replace an intensive steam service. In the 1960s the line was converted to 6.25 kV, 50 Hz as part of the decision by the British Transport Commission to adopt 25 kV 50 Hz electrification as the standard system rather than 1500 V DC electrification. The line did not immediately use 25 kV due to problems with clearances under bridges. In 1979, the line was converted for a second time to 25 kV following more research into the permissible clearances to structures.[4]


The line diverges from the Great Eastern Main Line at Shenfield, and is double track throughout.

The line is electrified at 25 kV, has a loading gauge of W6, and a maximum line speed of 80 mph, increasing to 90 mph where it joins the Great Eastern Main Line. [1]


Passenger services are currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. The company took over from National Express East Anglia in February 2012, which had replaced previous operator First Great Eastern in April 2004, when all the operators in East Anglia were merged into one new franchise.

The majority of services on the line run between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street. This route is normally operated by a Class 321 train, but a few services are operated by a Class 315. A typical journey between Shenfield, the line's western terminus, and Southend Victoria, at the eastern end, takes 35 minutes.


  1. ^ a b "Route 7 - Great Eastern" (PDF). Network Rail. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  2. ^ "Railway Magazine" February 1957
  3. ^ Fiennes, Gerard (1967). I Tried to Run a Railway. Shepperton, England: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0447-1. 
  4. ^ Glover, John (2003). Eastern Electric. Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-2934-2. 

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