Witham railway station

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Witham National Rail
Witham Railway Station EMU Class 308.jpg
Witham railway station in 1979
Location
Place Witham
Local authority District of Braintree
Coordinates 51°48′21.53″N 0°38′20.77″E / 51.8059806°N 0.6391028°E / 51.8059806; 0.6391028Coordinates: 51°48′21.53″N 0°38′20.77″E / 51.8059806°N 0.6391028°E / 51.8059806; 0.6391028
Grid reference TL820152
Operations
Station code WTM
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 4
DfT category C2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2011/12 Increase 2.252 million
2012/13 Decrease 2.245 million
2013/14 Increase 2.350 million
2014/15 Increase 2.380 million
– Interchange   0.132 million
2015/16 Decrease 2.377 million
– Interchange   Decrease 0.127 million
History
Original company Eastern Counties Railway
Pre-grouping Great Eastern Railway
Post-grouping London and North Eastern Railway
1843 Opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Witham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal

Witham railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) in the East of England, serving the town of Witham, Essex. It is approximately half a mile to the north of the town centre, and 38 miles 47 chains (62.1 km) down-line from London Liverpool Street. Witham is situated between Hatfield Peverel to the west and Kelvedon and to the east.[1] It is also the southern terminus of the Braintree Branch Line, where the branch joins the GEML. Its three-letter station code is WTM.

The station was opened in 1843 by the Eastern Counties Railway. It is currently operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, which also runs all trains serving the station.

History[edit]

A Cromer to London Liverpool Street express train at Witham in 1951

The section of the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) between Brentwood and Colchester entered operation on 29 March 1843,[2] and Witham station opened on the same day.[3] The station became a junction five years later with the opening of the Maldon, Witham & Braintree Railway (MW&B) for goods trains on 15 August 1848; passenger services on the line began on 2 October 1848.[4][5] The MW&B was later absorbed by the ECR, which itself amalgamated with other companies in 1862 to form the Great Eastern Railway.[6]

Accidents[edit]

  • On 1 January 1899 eight people were injured in a collision at Witham. At around 7:30 pm the 7:15 pm service from Maldon East collided side-long with a cattle train that was being shunted into a siding. Some of the cattle wagons were derailed, and some of the sheep aboard were killed. The incident was blamed on signalman error.[7]
  • On 1 September 1905 Witham was the scene of a major accident involving the 9:27 am service from London Liverpool Street to Cromer. The 14-carriage express train derailed whilst travelling through the station at speed. Ten passengers and a luggage porter were killed when several of the carriages somersaulted onto the platforms, causing considerable damage to both the rolling stock and the station. Seventy-one people were seriously injured.[8] This remains the worst single loss of life in a railway accident in Essex.[9]

Layout[edit]

Platform 1 is rarely used except for peak-hour services to and from London Liverpool Street starting or terminating at Witham; a limited number of through-trains towards London use this platform as well. Platform 1 was formerly used by trains on the now disused Witham-Maldon branch line. Platform 2 is typically used by services towards London and platform 3 is for country-bound trains. Platform 4 is for Braintree branch services; this platform may also used by through eastbound services stopping during peak times to allow fast express trains to pass through unhindered. Some evening peak services terminating at Witham also use platform 4. A new passing loop is planned to the north of Witham to further enable express services to overtake stopping services in either direction.[10]

The station's car park is situated next to the station. To access the car park from the station passengers once had to exit onto the street and take a substantial walk to the road bridge across the tracks situated just past the western end of the station, over the bridge and then down a residential road the other side of the tracks. Passengers campaigned for a remedy to this issue for many years. In 2001 funding was announced to build a footbridge direct from the station to the car park,[11] but this was subsequently withdrawn indefinitely due to financial cutbacks following the collapse of Railtrack. Reports of a new funding package for a footbridge emerged in 2008.[12] Work took place between in 2011 which included a new entrance at the station to provide access to and from the adjacent car park. The footbridge opened in August 2011. The improvements also saw new disabled parking facilities, a customer help point and information point and new sheltered cycle storage.

An 1897 survey of the station shows a small system of sidings on the down-side at the London end and also a siding with a turntable at the country end off the Braintree branch. On the up-side there were sidings serving an auction mart and cattle pens at the London end; and the Maltings and a coal yard at the country end accessed from both the main line and the Maldon branch. The Maldon branch had at an earlier date been served by a triangular junction which facilitated direct running from Colchester but it is shown as disconnected in 1897.[13]

Services[edit]

The typical off-peak service pattern is four trains per hour to London Liverpool Street, one to Ipswich, one to Colchester Town, one to Clacton-on-Sea and one along the branch line to Braintree. The services are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. During peak times, service frequencies are increased and calling patterns may vary.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yonge, John (September 2006) [1994]. Jacobs, Gerald, ed. Railway Track Diagrams 2: Eastern (3rd ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. map 5C. ISBN 0-9549866-2-8. 
  2. ^ Allen, Cecil J. (1956) [1955]. The Great Eastern Railway (2nd ed.). Hampton Court: Ian Allan. pp. 8,214. 
  3. ^ Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 252. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508. 
  4. ^ Allen 1956, p. 215
  5. ^ Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. London: Guild Publishing. p. 147. CN 8983. 
  6. ^ Allen 1956, p. 46
  7. ^ http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/eventsummary.php?eventID=6111
  8. ^ http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/eventsummary.php?eventID=72
  9. ^ http://www.railwaysarchive.co.uk/eventsummary.php?eventID=72
  10. ^ https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Anglia-Route-Study-UPDATED-1.pdf
  11. ^ "Building A Better Railway: SRA Provides £455,000 for Witham Interchange". Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  12. ^ "Footbridge hopes high". Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  13. ^ Mitchell, Victor E. (April 2011). Eastern Main Lines - Shenfield to Ipswich. Midhurst: Middleton Press. Plan VI. ISBN 978 1 906008 96 3. 
  14. ^ Table 11 National Rail timetable, May 2016
Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Abellio Greater Anglia
Terminus Abellio Greater Anglia
Historical railways
Anglia Railways
Disused railways
Terminus Great Eastern Railway