Shenfield to Southend Line

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Shenfield to Southend Line
Train arriving at Hockley railway station.jpg
Hockley Station
Type Commuter rail
System National Rail
Locale Greater London
East of England
Termini London Liverpool Street
Southend Victoria
Stations 8
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) 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 25kV 50hz 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 (Victoria) Line is a railway line from Southend-on-Sea to Shenfield in Essex. Almost all trains continue through to London Liverpool Street along the Great Eastern Main Line. 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 used 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 a.c. as part of the decision by the British Transport Commission to adopt 25 kV, 50 Hz a.c. electrification as the standard system rather than 1500 V d.c. 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, 50 Hz a.c. following more research into the permissible clearances to structures.[4]

Passenger services are currently operated by Greater Anglia. They took over from National Express East Anglia on 5 February 2012, who replaced previous operator First Great Eastern on 1 April 2004, when all the operators in East Anglia were merged into one new franchise.


The line diverges from the Great Eastern Main Line at Shenfield, and is double track throughout. The line is electrified at 25 kV AC, has a loading gauge of W6, and a maxium line speed of 80 mph, increasing to 90 mph where it joins the Great Eastern Main Line. [1]

This route is normally operated by a Class 321, a few services are operated by a Class 315, not operated by a Class 360. A train journey between Shenfield and Southend Victoria takes 35 minutes.


  1. ^ a b "Route 7 - Great Eastern". 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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