Great Bentley railway station

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Great Bentley National Rail
Great Bentley 319.jpg
Great Bentley station house, situated on the Eastbound Platform 2.
Place Great Bentley
Local authority Tendring
Coordinates 51°51′07″N 1°03′54″E / 51.852°N 1.065°E / 51.852; 1.065Coordinates: 51°51′07″N 1°03′54″E / 51.852°N 1.065°E / 51.852; 1.065
Grid reference TM112214
Station code GRB
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2002/03 Increase 68,188
2004/05 Increase 74,247
2005/06 Decrease 67,635
2006/07 Increase 76,266
2007/08 Decrease 64,770
2008/09 Increase 73,916
2009/10 Decrease 71,628
2010/11 Decrease 69,768
2011/12 Decrease 65,430
2012/13 Increase 66,450
2013/14 Decrease 64,075
8 January 1866 Station opens as Bentley Green
1877 Renamed to Great Bentley
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Great Bentley from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
UK Railways portal

Great Bentley railway station (formerly Bentley Green railway station) is a staffed railway station serving Great Bentley in Essex, England. The station is located 60 miles (97 km) north east of London Liverpool Street on the Sunshine Coast Line, a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line. The station is located at street level on Station Road in the centre of the village. The railway station is owned by Network Rail and managed by Abellio Greater Anglia who operate all services to London Liverpool Street, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester and Walton-on-the-Naze. The station is also used by commuters from the nearby town of Brightlingsea as well as Frating, Thorrington and St Osyth.

There are two platforms. Platform 1 is for services towards Colchester and London Liverpool Street. Platform 2 is for services towards Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze. The service frequency at Great Bentley varies throughout the day. Hourly local services operate to Colchester and Walton-on-the-Naze during the Off-Peak, and frequent express services operate to London Liverpool Street and Clacton-on-Sea during the Peak hours.

Network Rail replaced the manually controlled level crossing gates at Great Bentley with barriers in December 2008 as part of the £104 million Colchester to Clacton Resignalling Project.

Both platforms are much lower than is usual for those on the British railway network.

Train services[edit]

July 1922[edit]

The following services called during the summer of 1922 (the last year of operation by the Great Eastern Railway) 8 up services (weekdays/Saturdays) 9 down services (weekdays/Saturdays) 4 up services (Sunday) 3 down services (Sunday)[1]

June 1956[edit]

17 up services to Colchester (weekdays/Saturdays) 15 down services to Clacton (weekdays/Saturdays)[2]

Summer 1972[edit]

17 up services to Colchester (weekdays) 18 down services to Clacton (weekdays) Some services worked through to London Liverpool Street. On Summer Saturdays 24 down and 21 up trains called at Great Bentley.[3]

December 2012[edit]

In the December 2012 timetable the following services called at Great Bentley:

Operator Route Stock Frequency Notes
Abellio Greater Anglia London Liverpool Street - Stratford - Shenfield - Chelmsford - Witham - Colchester - Wivenhoe - Alresford - Great Bentley - Thorpe-le-Soken - Clacton-on-Sea Class 321, Class 360 1x per hour Sundays only
Abellio Greater Anglia Colchester - Colchester Town - Hythe - Wivenhoe - Alresford - Great Bentley - Weeley - Thorpe-le-Soken - Kirby Cross - Frinton-on-Sea - Walton-on-the-Naze Class 321 1x per hour Monday-Saturday
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Abellio Greater Anglia
Abellio Greater Anglia
Historical railways
Line open, station closed
Great Eastern Railway
Line and station open


Great Bentley station, 1997

The station opened in 1866 as Bentley Green before changing to its current name of Great Bentley in 1877.

In 1859 the Tendring Hundred Railway Company was formed to extend the line from Hythe to Wivenhoe which opened on 8 May 1863 for both passenger and goods services from Colchester. By the time the Wivenhoe extension opened the line was operated by the GER Great Eastern Railway who bought the line from the Tendring Hunded Railway in 1883.

The line was then extended to Weeley on 8 January 1866.

Initially the station was served by a single track but the line was doubled between Great Bentley and Thorpe-le-Soken by the Great Eastern Railway in 1891. The Wivenhoe to Great Bentley section was doubled in 1898.[4]

Operation of the station passed to the London and North Eastern Railway in 1923.

In 1948 the station became part of the Eastern Region of British Railways.

The 1955 modernisation plan proposed the electrification of the line through Great Bentley and electric services commenced on 13 April 1959.

Car park extension[edit]

In December 2009, Network Rail gave its approval to Great Bentley Parish Council to turn the disused railway siding adjacent to Platform 2 of the railway station into a car park.[5] Once built, it will significantly increase the current parking capacity at the station and will hopefully put an end to the ongoing congestion problems in the village. The car park will also attract commuters to use the station from nearby towns and villages without a rail link, such as Brightlingsea, Frating, Thorrington and St Osyth. A growth in the passenger usage at Great Bentley should result in more express trains stopping here. In April 2010, Network Rail confirmed they have completed all their checks and procedures regarding the proposed car park and are ready to begin negotiating a lease with the Parish Council.

After numerous delays, the new car park opened in January 2013.


When built the two platforms were linked with a lattice footbridge. This was taken down in the 1950s when the line was being prepared for electrification.

The signal box was located at the east end of the up platform and had 25 levers for the signals and points.[6]

There was a small goods yard with two to the east of the station which had cattle pens, coal wharves and an end loading ramp. In later years the main traffic was coal, agricultural fertilisers and sugar beet.[7] Closure date of the yard was in the 1950s (confirmation needed)

In 2013 the facilities at Great Bentley include a ticket office.

Bus services[edit]

The following bus services stop outside the station forecourt.

77: Aingers Green - Great Bentley National Rail - Colchester


  1. ^ Bradshaws July 1922 Railway Guide (reprint) DAVID AND CHARLES 1985
  2. ^ Great Eastern Railway Society Journal 111 page 27 S Jenkins July 2002 ISSN 0143-0866
  3. ^ Great Eastern Railway Society Journal 111 page 27 S Jenkins
  4. ^ Great Eastern Railway Society Journal 111 page 24 S Jenkins
  5. ^ Plans for new car park at Great Bentley railway station 06/04/2009
  6. ^ Great Eastern Railway Society Journal 111 page 28 S Jenkins
  7. ^ Great Eastern Railway Society Journal 111 page 27 S Jenkins

External links[edit]