Great Eastern Main Line

The Great Eastern Main Line (GEML, sometimes referred to as the East Anglia Main Line) is a 114.5-mile (184.3 km) major railway line on the British railway system which connects Liverpool Street station in central London with destinations in east London and the East of England, including Shenfield, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich. Its numerous branches also connect the main line to Southminster, Braintree, Sudbury, Harwich and a number of coastal towns including Southend-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze and Lowestoft.[1]

Great Eastern Main Line
OwnerNetwork Rail
LocaleGreater London
East of England
TypeIntercity, commuter rail
SystemNational Rail
Operator(s)Greater Anglia
Elizabeth line
c2c (limited services)
Depot(s)Norwich Crown Point
Rolling stock
Line length114 miles 40 chains (184.3 km)
Number of tracks1–6
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Old gauge5 ft (1,524 mm) until 1844
ElectrificationMk1 and GEFF 25 kV 50 Hz AC OHLE
Operating speed100 mph (160 km/h)
Route map
Great Eastern main line

miles-chains from London Liverpool Street

Bittern line
to Sheringham
Wherry lines
via Brundall
Trowse swing bridge
over River Wensum
Norwich Victoria
Branch line
to Eye
Mid-Suffolk Light Rly
Needham Market
Ipswich Goods Yard
to Lower Yard
and Ipswich Docks
Ipswich depot
Stoke tunnel (
16 ch
320 m
Ipswich Stoke Hill
Griffin Wharf branch
(goods only)
Hadleigh Rly
to Hadleigh
Mayflower line
to Harwich Town
Sunshine Coast Line
to Clacton and Walton
Colchester depot
Marks Tey
Gainsborough line
to Sudbury
Kelvedon & Tollesbury Light Rly
to Tollesbury Pier
Maldon branch line
Branch line
to Braintree
River Brain
Hatfield Peverel
Beaulieu Park
Chelmsford Viaduct
Shenfield Junction
Harold Wood
Gidea Park carriage sidings
Gidea Park
Romford OHL depot
Chadwell Heath
Seven Kings
Fairlop Loop
(now site of Ilford depot)
Ilford flyover
Manor Park
Forest Gate Junction
to Gospel Oak to Barking line
Forest Gate
Waterworks River
Thornton Fields
carriage sidings
City Mill River
Bow Midland Yard
Bryant and May works
Temple Mills line
Bow Junction
Coborn Road
Globe Road &
Devonshire Street
Bethnal Green East Junction
Bethnal Green
Bethnal Green West Junction
Wheler Street Junction
London Liverpool Street
1 Suburban line
2 Main line 3 Electric line
Connection to
Metropolitan Railway

Its main users are commuters travelling to and from London, particularly the City of London, which is served by Liverpool Street, and areas in east London, including the Docklands financial district via the London Underground and Docklands Light Railway connections at Stratford. The line is also heavily used by leisure travellers, as it and its branches serve a number of seaside resorts, shopping areas and countryside destinations. The route also provides the main artery for substantial freight traffic to and from Felixstowe and Harwich, via their respective branch lines. Trains from Southend Airport also run into London via the GEML.[2]

The Elizabeth line which fully opened in November 2022, operate services from Shenfield to London Paddington via Liverpool Street, connecting Essex to alternative areas in Central London.


Eastern Counties and Eastern Union Railways (1839–1862)

The first section of the line, built by the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR), opened in June 1839 between a short-lived temporary terminus at Devonshire Street in the East End of London and Romford, then in the Havering Liberty in Essex. The London terminus was moved in July 1840 to Shoreditch (later renamed Bishopsgate), after 1900 in the Metropolitan Borough of Bethnal Green, and at the eastern end the line was extended 6 miles (9.7 km) out to Brentwood in the same year. A further 34 miles (55 km) of track was added out to Colchester by 1843.[3] The original gauge for the line was 5 ft (1,524 mm), but this was converted to 1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge in 1844.

The section of line between Colchester and Ipswich was built by the Eastern Union Railway (EUR) to standard gauge and opened to passenger traffic in June 1846. Its sister company, the Ipswich and Bury Railway, built a line to Bury St Edmunds and this was completed in November 1846. Both companies shared the same office, many directors and key staff, and started operating as a unified company with the EUR name from 1 January 1847. An extension from a new junction at Haughley to Norwich Victoria opened in December 1849, although the position of the latter station was poor and a spur to allow some trains to operate into Norwich (Thorpe) station was opened to regular traffic in November 1851.[4]

In the late 19th century, the double-track main line was expanded with additional tracks being added to cope with more traffic. In 1854, a third track was added between Bow Junction and Stratford to help accommodate London, Tilbury and Southend Railway services which at that time were operating via Stratford.

Until 1860, trains serving the town of Ipswich used a station called Ipswich Stoke Hill which was located south of the Stoke tunnel. The town's current station is located to the north of the tunnel.

The ECR had leased the EUR from 1854 but by the 1860s, the railways in East Anglia were in financial trouble and most were leased to the ECR; they wished to amalgamate formally, but could not obtain government agreement for this until 1862, when the Great Eastern Railway (GER) was formed out of the consolidation.[5]

Great Eastern Railway (1862–1922)

From November 1872, Bishopsgate (Low Level) became a temporary terminus to relieve the main high level Bishopsgate station while the GER was building its new permanent terminus at Liverpool Street. The latter opened in stages from February 1874, beginning with the first four platforms, until it was fully open from November 1875. At that time the original 1840 Bishopsgate station closed to passengers and was converted into a goods yard.

By the 1870s, suburbia in the Forest Gate area was developing quickly and in 1872 suburban trains (this was the first distinctive suburban service on the main line as previously main line trains had performed this duty) terminated at a bay platform at Forest Gate. These were followed by trains from Fenchurch Street in 1877.[Note 1] By 1882, these services had been extended and were terminating at Ilford, Romford or Brentwood.

In 1877, a fourth track was added between Bow Junction and Stratford and two goods-only tracks were added between Stratford and Maryland Point. The four-track Bow Junction to Stratford section was extended back to James Street Junction (near Globe Road station which opened the same year) in 1884, but Bethnal Green to James Street did not follow until 1891. It was also in this year that two extra tracks were added between Bethnal Green and Liverpool Street which were for the use of West Anglia Main Line services. These tracks were built through the basement warehousing associated with Bishopsgate station located above.

The line was quadrupled to Ilford in 1895, and in 1899 out to Seven Kings.

In 1902, the quadruple track was extended from Seven Kings to Romford, but it wasn't until 1913 that four-tracking out to Shenfield was suggested and the First World War caused delay to this plan.[6] In 1903, the Fairlop Loop opened and a number of services that had previously terminated at Ilford were extended onto it. These services generally looped round and back to the GEML at Stratford (on the Cambridge line platforms).

London and North Eastern Railway (1923–1947)

The GER was grouped in 1923 into the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). In 193132, the LNER quadrupled the tracks to Shenfield which became the terminus for inner-suburban operation.

In the 1930s, a flyover was constructed just west of Ilford to switch the main and electric lines over, to enable main line trains to utilise Liverpool Street's longer west side platforms without having to cross east side suburban traffic in the station throat. The new arrangement also facilitated cross-platform interchange with the Central line at Stratford, with services commencing in 1946. Either side of the Ilford flyover there are single-track connections between each pair of lines, with the westbound track extending to Manor Park and just beyond. The eastbound track extends as far as Ilford station. It was also envisaged that a flyover would be built at the country-end of the carriage sidings at Gidea Park to allow trains bound for the Southend line to change from the main line to the electric line, instead of at the London-end of Shenfield as they do now.

Plans were drawn up in the 1930s to electrify the suburban lines from Liverpool Street to Shenfield at 1,500 V DC and work was started on implementing this. However, the outbreak of the Second World War brought the project to a temporary halt and it was not until 1949 that the scheme was completed with electrification being extended to Chelmsford in 1956.[7]

During World War II, the long-distance named trains were withdrawn, and these returned after the war with the reintroduction of the "Hook Continental" and "Scandinavian" boat trains to Harwich Parkeston Quay in 1945. The East Anglian (Liverpool Street – Norwich) was restored in October 1946, and in 1947 the "Day Continental" which pre-war had operated as the "Flushing Continental", recommenced operation.[8]

British Railways (1948–1994)

After nationalisation in 1948, the GEML formed part of the Eastern Region of British Railways.

The Summer 1950 timetable saw the introduction of a regular interval service between Liverpool Street and Clacton, which left Liverpool Street on the half-hour and Clacton on the hour. Summer Saturdays in 1950 also saw the introduction of the "Holiday Camps Express" workings to Gorleston, near Lowestoft. The latter half of 1950 and early 1951 saw the testing of new EM1 electric locomotives for use over the Woodhead Line between Manchester and Sheffield.[9]

January 1951 saw the introduction of the Britannia class 4-6-2 express locomotives and a speeding up of services on the GEML. However, not everyone was a fan; British Railways chairman Sir Michael Barrington Ward exclaimed "What? Send the first British Railways standard engines to that tramline? No!"[10]

Twenty-three Britannias were allocated to the GE section and, in summer 1951, the Liverpool Street–Norwich service went over to an hourly clockface interval service.[11][12]

The British Railways 1955 Modernisation Plan called for overhead line systems in Great Britain to be standardised at 25 kV AC. However, due to low clearances under bridges, the route was electrified at 6.25 kV AC. The section between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria was completed in November 1960. Extensive testing showed that smaller electrical clearances could be tolerated for the 25 kV system than originally thought necessary. As a result, it was now possible to increase the voltage without having to either raise bridges or lower the tracks along the route to obtain larger clearances. The route between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria was converted to 25 kV AC between 1976 and 1980.[13]

By the late 1970s, the costs of running the dated mechanical signalling systems north of Colchester was recognised and, in 1978, a scheme for track rationalisation and re-signalling was duly submitted to the Department of Transport. This was followed by a proposal, in 1980, to electrify the Great Eastern Main Line.[14]

The early 1980s saw track rationalisation and signalling work carried out in the Ipswich area and, on 9 April 1985, the first electric train consisting of two Class 305 electric multiple units (EMU) worked into Ipswich station. The previous year, another member of the class had been dragged to Ipswich by a diesel locomotive and was used for crew training. The first passenger carrying train was formed of British Rail Class 309 EMUs, which ran on 17 April 1985. The plan was for Inter-City trains to be hauled by British Rail Class 86 locomotives which, until the line beyond Ipswich to Norwich was electrified, would changeover with the Class 47s at Ipswich; this arrangement commenced from 1 May 1985.

During 1985–87, the line to Norwich was electrified and through electric working commenced in May 1987.[15]

In 1986, the line as far as Manningtree became part of Network SouthEast, although some NSE services actually terminated at Ipswich, whilst longer-distance Norwich services were operated by InterCity. Local services operating from the Ipswich and Norwich areas were operated by Regional Railways.

The privatisation era (1994 onwards)

Between 1997 and 2004, services into Essex and some into Suffolk were operated by First Great Eastern, whilst services into Norfolk and other Suffolk services were operated by Anglia Railways. Between 2004 and 2012, services out of Liverpool Street, except for a limited number of c2c trains, were all operated by National Express East Anglia. Since 2012, the franchise has been operated by Abellio Greater Anglia; in May 2015, the Shenfield "metro" stopping service transferred to TfL Rail, as a precursor to Elizabeth Line services.

Liverpool Street IECC replaced signal boxes at Bethnal Green (closed 1997), Bow (closed 1996), Stratford (GE panel closed 1997), Ilford (closed 1996), Romford (closed 1998), Gidea Park (closed 1998), Shenfield (closed 1992) and Chelmsford (closed 1994). The system uses BR Mark 3 solid state interlockings, predominantly four-aspect signals and a combination of Smiths clamp-lock and GEC-Alsthom HW2000 point machines.

The first signal box to be closed and transferred to Liverpool Street IECC was Shenfield in 1992, which had only opened 10 years earlier. The last boxes to be transferred were at Romford and Gidea Park in 1998; these were the oldest of those being transferred, having been opened under the GER/LNER 1924 resignalling scheme.

Accidents and incidents

A number of fatal accidents have occurred on the line throughout its history:

  • 1840: Brentwood; four killed[16]
  • 1872: Kelvedon; one killed and 16 injured in a derailment[17]
  • 1905: Witham; 11 killed and 71 injured in a derailment[18]
  • 1913: Colchester; three killed and 14 injured in a collision and derailment[19][20]
  • 1915: Ilford; 10 killed and 500 injured in a collision between two trains[21]
  • 1941: Brentwood; seven killed in a collision between two trains[22]
  • 1944: Ilford; nine killed and 38 injured in a collision between two trains[23]
  • 1944: Romford; one killed and three injured in a collision between two trains[24]


The line is owned and maintained by Network Rail.[2] It is part of Network Rail Strategic Route 7, which is composed of SRSs 07.01, 07.02 and 07.03, and is classified as a primary line. The GEML has a loading gauge of W10 between Liverpool Street and Haughley Junction (approximately 13 miles 63 chains north of Ipswich[25]) and from there is W9 to Norwich. The maximum line speed is 100 mph (160 km/h).[26]

The main line is electrified at 25 kV AC using overhead wires and comes under the control of Romford Electrical Control Room. The branches to Upminster, Southend Victoria, Southminster, Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Walton-on-the-Naze and Harwich Town are also electrified.

Between Romford and Chadwell Heath, there is a Network Rail maintenance depot adjacent to the Jutsums Lane overbridge. In addition, at the London-end of the depot, is Network Rail's Electrical Control Room that controls the supply and switching of the overhead line system for the whole of the former Anglia Region.

Signalling is controlled by two main signalling centres: Liverpool Street IECC (opened in 1992) and Colchester PSB (opened in December 1983). Liverpool Street IECC controls signalling up to Marks Tey, where it fringes with Colchester PSB, which has control to Norwich. There are also several small signal boxes that control local infrastructure, such as Ingatestone box, which has jurisdiction over several local level crossings.

Line-side train monitoring equipment includes hot axle box detectors (HABD) on the down main and down electric lines near Brentwood (17 miles 35 chains from Liverpool Street) and on the up main near Margaretting (25 miles 78 chains). Other equipment includes wheel impact load detectors (WILD) ‘Wheelchex’ on the down main and up main west of Church Lane level crossing (24 miles 75 chains).[27][28]

Track layout

On leaving Liverpool Street, the route comprises two pairs of tracks, known as the mains and the electrics, with a further pair of tracks, the suburbans, which carry the West Anglia Main Line alongside the GEML to Bethnal Green.

From Bethnal Green, the GEML has four lines to Bow junction, where there is a complex set of switches and crossings. A line from the LTS (Fenchurch Street) route joins the "up" (London-bound) electric and there are a further two lines, the "up" and "down" Temple Mills, giving access to the North London Line and Temple Mills. The GEML has six tracks up to the London-end of Stratford and the junction to Temple Mills; there are five lines through the station, dropping to four at the country end.

At Shenfield, the line to Southend Victoria diverges and the main line route drops from four tracks to two; this arrangement continues for the vast majority of the way to Norwich. There are several locations where the route has more than two tracks, predominantly through stations such as Colchester and Ipswich, along with goods loops, such as at the London end of Ingatestone. There is also a short stretch of single track on approach to Norwich, as the line passes over the River Wensum on the Trowse Bridge.

Tunnel and viaducts

Major civil engineering structures on the Great Eastern Main Line include the following:[27]

Tunnel and viaducts on the Great Eastern Main Line
Railway Structure Length Distance from London Liverpool Street Station Location
Trowse Swing Bridge (River Wensum) 123 miles 37 chains (via Cambridge) Norwich
Lakenham Viaduct (including River Yare) 8 chains (c. 160 metres) 112 miles 33 chains – 112 miles 25 chains (via Ipswich) Between Norwich and Diss stations
Thraston Viaduct (River Tas) 105 miles 62 chains (via Ipswich)
River Waveney Viaduct 94 miles 54 chains (via Ipswich) South of Diss station
Badley Viaduct (River Gipping) 2 chains (c. 40 metres) 79 miles 09 chains – 79 miles 07 chains (via Ipswich) Between Stowmarket and Needham Market stations
Ipswich or Stoke Tunnel (see note below) 361 yards (330 metres) 68 miles 47 chains – 68 miles 31 chains South of Ipswich station
Cattawade Viaduct 4 chains (c. 80 metres) 60 miles 10 chains – 60 miles 06 chains East of Manningtree station
River Stour Viaduct 4 chains (c. 80 metres) 59 miles 75 chains – 59 miles 71 chains
Lexden Viaduct (River Colne) 6 chains (c. 120 metres) 49 miles 69 chains – 49 miles 63 chains West of Colchester (North) station
River Ter Viaduct 35 miles 22 chains Between Hatfield Peverel and Chelmsford stations
Boreham Viaduct 3 chains (c. 60 metres) 32 miles 72 chains – 32 miles 69 chains
River Chelmer Viaduct 30 miles 25 chains East of Chelmsford station
Chelmsford Viaduct 24 chains (c. 480 metres) 29 miles 64 chains – 29 miles 40 chains West of Chelmsford station
River Can Viaduct 3 chains (c. 60 metres) 29 miles 36 chains – 29 miles 26 chains
Ilford or Aldersbrook Flyover 6 miles 78 chains West of Ilford station
Bethnal Green Viaduct 1 mile 6 chains (c. 1730 metres) 1 miles 58 chains – 0 mile 52 chains Bethnal Green

Stoke tunnel

The only tunnel on the line is immediately south of Ipswich station. The 361-yard (330 m) long tunnel was built by Peter Bruff as part of the Ipswich & Bury Railway. It was completed in 1846 and it is thought to be the earliest driven on a sharp continuous curve.[29] During the excavation of the tunnel, many important fossils were discovered, including rhinoceros, lion and mammoth; the site was known as the "Stoke Bone Beds".[30] The finds are considered important in understanding climate change during the Ice Age.[31] This tunnel had the trackbed lowered so the line could accommodate taller freight trains.

Rolling stock

Electric locomotive powered inter-city trains operated the London-Norwich service from electrification of the line in the mid-1980s until March 2020.

Class 86 locomotives powered the service from 1985 until 2005, with rakes of Mark 2 coaches. Push-pull services were introduced during their tenure, initially using a DBSO coach at the Norwich end and latterly with Driving Van Trailers, cascaded from the West Coast Main Line.

From 2004, Class 90 locomotives replaced the ageing Class 86s and rolling stock was updated with refurbished former West Coast Main Line Mark 3 coaches, following the introduction of the Class 390 ‘’Pendolino’’ stock on that route.

By March 2020, new Class 745 EMUs had fully replaced Class 90 and Mark 3 coaches; thereby ending locomotive operation on the inter-city services on the Great Eastern Main Line.[32][33] Class 90s are still operating Freightliner services along with Class 66 and Class 70 diesels and Class 86 electrics.

Electric multiple units are used for inner and outer suburban passenger trains and diesel multiple units are used on non-electrified branch lines. Electric and diesel hauled freight services also operate on the Great Eastern Main Line.[2] The main passenger units utilised are:

  • Class 321: 307 seats across four cars. Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h). (Operated by Greater Anglia)
  • Class 345: 450 seats across nine cars.[Note 2] Maximum speed 90 mph (140 km/h). (Operated by Elizabeth Line)
  • Class 745: 757 seats across 12 cars. Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h). (Operated by Greater Anglia)
  • Class 720: 545 seats across five cars. 100 mph (160 km/h). (Operated by Greater Anglia)
  • Class 755: 167 seats across three cars (class 755/3) or 229 seats across four cars (class 755/4). Maximum speed 100 mph (160 km/h). (Operated by Greater Anglia)

On weekends and when engineering work occurs, c2c run services into Liverpool Street via Stratford using Class 357 electric multiple units (EMU).

Current developments


In 2015, TfL Rail, the precursor of Crossrail, took over operation of the Shenfield stopping "metro" service and, from 2022, the full Crossrail service will run via a tunnel through central London and link up with the Great Western Main Line to Reading and Heathrow Airport.

The first new Class 345 rolling stock entered service on the service on 22 June 2017. The new trains, built at Bombardier's Derby factory, provide air conditioned walk-through carriages, intelligent lighting and temperature control, closed-circuit television and passenger information displays showing travel information, including about onward journeys. It was planned that by September 2017, half of the services between Shenfield and Liverpool Street will have switched to the new Class 345 trains. From May 2015, Crossrail services (re-branded as TfL Rail) have an interchange with existing GEML services at Liverpool Street (via new underground platforms) as well as Stratford, Romford and Shenfield.

In November 2022, Crossrail services began to operate between Shenfield and London Paddington via Farringdon. However no services operate further than Paddington onto the likes of Heathrow Airport and Reading. Instead, these services start from Abbey Wood, The Elizabeth line's southeast branch.

Proposed developments

A new station is planned at Great Blakenham as part of the SnOasis development approximately halfway between Needham Market and Ipswich,[34][35] Another is planned at Beaulieu, 3 miles north-east of Chelmsford entailing a long section of extra tracks on viaduct/bridge.[36]


The majority of trains are operated by Abellio Greater Anglia, with the Elizabeth line operating the Liverpool Street to Shenfield stopping "metro" trains. A limited number of weekend (and when engineering work is planned) c2c services, operate on part of the line between Stratford and Liverpool Street.[2]

Main line

Fast and semi-fast services utilise the main line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. Branch lines diverge at Romford, Shenfield, Witham, Marks Tey, Colchester, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Norwich.

Additionally, a very limited number of main line services call at Ilford, Seven Kings and Gidea Park during early mornings and late nights, often for the convenience of drivers who may be working at these locations.

StationBoroughBranch lines
London Liverpool StreetCity of London
RomfordHaveringRomford–Upminster line
ShenfieldBrentwoodShenfield–Southend line
Hatfield PeverelBraintree
WithamBraintreeBraintree branch line
Marks TeyColchesterGainsborough line
ColchesterColchesterSunshine Coast line
ManningtreeTendringMayflower line
IpswichIpswichEast Suffolk line; Felixstowe branch line
Needham Market †Mid Suffolk
StowmarketMid SuffolkIpswich–Ely line
DissSouth Norfolk
NorwichNorwichWherry lines; Bittern line; Breckland line

† Needham Market is not served by main line trains.

Electric line

The Elizabeth line is a high-frequency service that operates between London Paddington and Shenfield via London Liverpool Street since 2022 and serves all stations.

In 2006 the off-peak stopping service on the Great Eastern Main Line consisted of six trains per hour, with some additional services during peak times.[2] During peak times, some trains start or terminate at Gidea Park. The line is mostly within Greater London, with two stations in the Essex borough of Brentwood.

The electric line is also used by limited services extending to and from Southend Victoria.[2]

StationTravelcard zoneBorough
London Liverpool Street1City of London
Forest Gate3Newham
Manor Park3/4Newham
Seven Kings4Redbridge
Chadwell Heath5Redbridge
Gidea Park6Havering
Harold Wood6Havering

Passenger volume

These are the passenger usage statistics from the year beginning April 2002 to the year beginning April 2013. Needham Market is the only station on the line that is not served by trains to/from London.

Station usage
Station name 2002–03 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20 2020-21 2021-22
Norwich 2,351,236 2,421,607 2,527,760 2,711,910 3,449,930 3,568,618 3,496,082 3,749,474 3,911,508 4,126,012 4,139,820
Diss 328,606 314,136 325,553 417,857 551,781 559,544 539,234 600,904 621,728 646,158 675,527
Stowmarket 367,331 417,729 453,271 545,670 705,682 751,802 756,484 855,692 884,962 927,856 944,466
Needham Market 12,014 16,237 25,472 37,074 43,987 52,782 58,054 67,056 77,554 85,078 91,358
Ipswich 2,022,546 2,017,300 2,144,935 2,402,852 2,807,395 2,825,352 2,774,536 3,004,678 3,159,348 3,348,394 3,312,522
Manningtree 574,633 719,792 707,782 865,217 910,384 833,888 799,776 890,624 983,054 1,093,178 1,154,294
Colchester 4,005,869 4,305,315 4,287,601 4,337,926 4,516,616 4,502,739 4,218,622 4,362,914 4,584,110 4,291,055 4,402,045
Marks Tey 364,979 384,337 400,155 432,073 459,980 443,724 428,804 428,816 437,006 473,162 494,998
Kelvedon 789,487 774,972 759,680 787,033 799,439 797,236 763,240 791,312 827,358 812,610 837,236
Witham 2,173,543 2,261,186 2,307,269 2,342,618 2,341,123 2,277,436 2,076,532 2,159,09 2,251,940 2,244,774 2,349,736
Hatfield Peverel 419,144 418,145 412,523 416,083 398,255 394,420 357,382 357,458 389,284 399,602 408,896
Chelmsford 6,445,365 6,698,243 6,801,193 7,113,065 7,447,696 7,375,452 6,934,970 7,335,952 7,876,686 8,002,126 8,286,879
Ingatestone 554,235 606,007 628,220 630,362 649,324 637,918 596,310 636,170 694,754 715,974 750,746
Shenfield 2,701,210 2,861,253 2,907,917 2,965,886 3,024,519 3,008,422 2,825,598 2,936,428 2,991,100 3,131,298 3,314,120
Brentwood 2,361,639 2,475,272 2,535,139 2,479,150 2,520,143 2,557,092 2,322,842 2,420,930 2,495,480 2,701,998 2,809,578
Harold Wood 1,879,400 1,770,874 1,773,086 3,014,836 3,476,002 3,042,946 2,808,636 2,552,716 2,580,280 2,857,572 2,917,788
Gidea Park 1,838,172 1,689,192 1,670,663 2,703,604 3,172,538 2,587,398 2,401,226 2,467,414 2,524,448 2,587,142 2,810,806
Romford 5,208,851 5,118,900 4,823,860 7,363,378 8,372,672 7,310,172 6,736,060 6,817,246 6,998,872 7,445,556 8,265,442
Chadwell Heath 1,836,872 1,607,729 1,556,568 2,208,567 2,352,716 2,246,672 1,977,616 2,144,996 2,228,662 2,346,218 2,686,904
Goodmayes 1,472,318 1,155,770 1,070,419 1,961,690 2,092,464 1,929,478 1,792,694 2,069,248 2,306,452 2,389,588 2,625,572
Seven Kings 1,694,399 1,174,319 1,095,940 1,567,157 1,764,774 1,657,658 1,528,296 1,708,550 1,879,664 2,112,832 2,330,778
Ilford 3,679,035 2,931,960 2,623,618 5,075,338 6,119,745 5,559,414 5,363,400 6,286,174 6,721,496 6,854,314 7,632,352
Manor Park 875,206 694,315 656,895 1,291,690 1,443,311 1,232,484 1,160,120 1,424,914 1,593,348 1,659,972 1,809,714
Forest Gate 1,209,066 956,231 915,549 1,891,875 2,037,387 1,706,018 1,598,816 1,914,054 2,205,106 2,403,326 2,647,058
Maryland 265,274 197,259 196,927 450,314 503,987 431,350 425,176 501,956 541,942 699,584 939,324
Stratford 2,597,390 7,914,419 7,699,178 13,089,922 13,368,783 12,303,033 12,370,245 17,479,020 21,797,460 25,564,250 26,377,506
London Liverpool Street 38,968,814 50,469,209 47,271,234 55,265,748 57,759,809 55,103,416 51,596,155 55,769,423 57,105,400 58,448,814 63,004,002
The annual passenger usage is based on sales of tickets in stated financial years from Office of Rail and Road estimates of station usage. The statistics are for passengers arriving and departing from each station and cover twelve-month periods that start in April. Methodology may vary year on year. Usage from the periods 2019-20 and especially 2020-21 onwards have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic


  1. Fenchurch Street was served by GER and LTSR services at this time and GER services were routed via Bow Road
  2. Running in reduced seven car formation from 2017-2020.


  1. National Rail, Rail Services Around London & the South East, (2006)
  2. Network Rail Archived 15 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine - Route 7 - Great Eastern (PDF)
  3. "Eagle 61 :: Railway Guide books of the Eastern Counties Railway". Retrieved 4 May 2009.
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