The Braintree Branch Line - Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail

The Braintree Branch Line - Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail

London Liverpool St.......a Witham .........................d White Notley...................d Cressing ............................d Braintree Freepo...

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London Liverpool St.......a Witham .........................d White Notley...................d Cressing ............................d Braintree Freeport .........d Braintree ......................d

I 0734 0741 0743 0746 0750

I 0824 0831 0833 0836 0840

0832 0924 0931 0933 0936 0940

0932 and then 1024 at same 1031 minutes 1033 past each 1036 hour 1040 until

1732 1824 1831 1833 1836 1840

1832 1924 1931 1933 1936 1940

1932 2024 2031 2033 2036 2040

2032 2124 2131 2133 2136 2140

2132 2224 2231 2233 2236 2240

2232 2324 2331 2333 2336 2340

Sunday London Liverpool St........a Witham..................................d White Notley.......................d Cressing.................................d Braintree Freeport..........d Braintree..........................d

I 0534 0541 0543 0546 0550

0530 0634 0641 0643 0646 0650

0648 0734 0741 0743 0746 0750

0748 0834 0841 0843 0846 0850

0848 and then 0934 at same 0941 minutes 0943 past each 0946 hour 0950 until

2148 2234 2241 2243 2246 2250

2238 2325 2332 2334 2337 2341

2318 0005 0012 0014 0017 0021

timetable key a Arrival time d Departure time Interchange with London Underground PlusBus operates from this station

Train Services Provided by Greater Anglia

Timetable is stripped to help you read them. There is no meaning to them. Information correct at time of printing June 2012 please check with Greater Anglia for any service changes.

Saturday 1634 1721 1728 1730 1733 1739 1744 1746 1749 1752 1800 1845

1720 1810 1817 1819 1822 1828 1833 1836 1839 1842 1851 1936

1800 1901 1908 1910 1913 1919

1902 1949 1956 1958 2001 2005

0523 0616 0623 0625 0628 0632

1948 2034 2041 2043 2046 2050

0612 0703 0710 0712 0715 0719

2048 2134 2141 2143 2146 2150

0702 0748 0755 0757 0800 0804

0748 0835 0842 0844 0847 0851

2148 2234 2241 2243 2246 2250 0848 0935 0942 0944 0947 0951

2238 2325 2332 2334 2337 2341

2318 0005 0012 0014 0017 0021

0948and then 1034 at same 1041 minutes 1043 past each 1046 hour 1050 until 2345 2347 2350 2353 00a01 I

0025 0027 0030 0033 00a41 I

1000 and then 1700 1800 1900 2000 1002 at same 1702 1802 1902 2002 1005 minutes 1705 1805 1905 2005 1008 past each 1708 1808 1908 2008 10a16 hour 17a16 18a16 19a16 20a16 1112 until 1812 1912 2012 2112

2100 2102 2105 2108 21a16 2212

2200 2202 2205 2208 22a16 2312

2256 2258 2301 2304 23a12 0008

1924 1927 1930 1933 1942 2023

2011 2013 2016 2019 2027 2112

2000 2002 2005 2008 2016 2101

2100 2102 2105 2108 2116 2201

2100 2102 2105 2108 2116 2201

2200 2202 2205 2208 2216 2301

0726 0729 0732 0735 0744 0832

2345 2347 2350 2353 00a01 I

2256 2258 2301 2304 23a12 0002

0812 0814 0817 0820 0828 0919

0900 0902 0905 0908 0916 1001

0025 0027 0030 0033 00a41 I

and then at same minutes past each hour until

Various railcards are available where you can get up to a third off the price of off peak tickets. Young Persons - for anyone aged 16 - 25 Senior Railcard - for anyone aged 60 and over. Friends and Family Railcard - for family groups. Network Card - Anyone aged 16+ travelling in the South East (minimus fare applies weekdays). Children aged 5-15 travel for half price and children under 5 travel free.

Child Tickets

Groups of three or four travelling together can travel for the price of two to any station in the local area (including London Liverpool street).

GroupSave Tickets

Off peak tickets are available please check at the local booking office or Greater Anglia website

Off Peak Tickets

Latest information of train times and fares for any rail operator in the UK can be obtained from National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 or via the website

Your guide to the Flitch Line and surrounding area, for a great day out by train

The Braintree Branch Line

Welcome to the Flitch Line History of Braintree Branch Line

1548 1635 1642 1644 1647 1651

I 0521 0528 0530 0533 0537


2256 2258 2301 2304 23a12 0002

Sunday 1700 1702 1705 1708 1716 1801

0640 0643 0646 0649 0658 0747

0545 0547 0550 0553 06a02 0648

Tickets and Travel Information

By the 1830’s the industrial progress in other areas was beginning to leave Braintree behind. Isolated amidst a network of Turnpike roads, and without access to rivers and the sea, firms in Braintree depended upon carts to bring materials in and send out finished goods Braintree goods yard about 1956 to their customers. Silk manufacturers such as Courtaulds, one of the largest local employers, packed their cloths into large willow hampers which were loaded onto horse-drawn wagons. With the arrival of the Eastern Counties Railway at nearby Witham, in 1838, pressure grew in the town for a rail connection. Anticipating the arrival of the railways, Samuel Courtauld was quick to take advantage and repurchased his fathers mill at Chapel Hill in 1843. The original terminus station had been transformed into a goods depot from which private sidings extended into a cluster of industrial enterprises that had developed in the immediate vicinity. The railway goods handling facilities included cranes and trucks designed for very heavy goods. Immediately to the north of the goods station lay Crittall Windows new Manor Works. A railway siding had been laid across Manor Road into the rear of the factory. The factory was designed to produce components fror shipment by rail. Crittall’s railway street siding took in raw materials such as iron bars and consigned to their customers completed products such as industrial and commercial window units and later, agricultural equipment. To the east lay the maltings, suppliers to the towns breweries. Maltings were found in most large towns as large quantities of beer were consumed by working men at this period. Maltings were heavy freight users handling bulk grain products. Braintree passenger train goint to Witham about 1956 Alongside lay Braintree Gas Works which had superseded the original works in New Street to take advantage of easy access to coal supplies from the railway goods yard. The Gas Works roasted coal in huge retorts, producing coke, a bulky by-product and town gas which was stored in a huge gasometer to the south of Manor Road. The largest factory

1448 1535 1542 1544 1547 1551

London Liverpool St...........a Witham......................................d White Notley ...........................d Cressing.....................................d Braintree Freeport .............d Braintree ..............................d

Mondays to Fridays

London and Witham to Braintree Braintree ......................d 0800 0900 Braintree Freeport .........d 0802 0902 Cressing ............................d 0805 0905 White Notley...................d 0808 0908 Witham .............................d 08a16 09a16 London Liverpool St........a 0912 1012

2200 2202 2205 2208 2216 2301

Braintree ......................d 0600 0700 and then 1800 1900 Braintree Freeport ...........d 0602 0702 at same 1802 1902 Cressing ............................d 0605 0705 minutes 1805 1905 White Notley...................d 0608 0708 past each 1808 1908 Witham .........................d 06a16 0716 hour 1816 1916 until 1901 2001 London Liverpool St.....a 0702 0801

Saturday 1600 1602 1605 1608 1616 1703

Braintree ..............................d Braintree Freeport..................d Cressing.....................................d White Notley ...........................d Witham..................................d London Liverpool St ......a

Mondays to Fridays

Walks and Cycle Routes

of all lay to the south east north of the railway line from Witham, Lake and Elliott’s Albion Works, which incorporated its own electricity generating station, built in 1917 which also supplied neighbouring firms and the town until 1946. In 1869, a new railway line had been constructed from Braintree to Bishops Stortford, isolating the original railway terminus building, a small single story wooden structure, which remained in use as a builders merchant office. A brand new station, still in use today, replaced the former terminus building to cater for the through traffic. Resource:

10 Facts

about the Braintree Branch Line 1 2 3 4 5


7 8 9 10

Braintree to Witham and London Times in italics are connecting train services with a change of train at Witham

Timetable Information

The Braintree – Witham line was opened to passengers on 2nd October 1848. The line was originally double track but one set of rails was removed in 1854 for use in Crimean War! The Braintree station was originally known as ‘Braintree and Bocking’ until 1970, and Cressing Station was ‘Bulford’ until 1911. For many years Braintree had an engine shed and turntable. Both these facilities ceased in the 1950s when steam trains were withdrawn. Between 1958 – 1963 all passenger services were operated by a 56 seater German built rail bus. Today peak period services are formed of 8 coach trains with seating for 600 passengers. The line was threatened with Dr Beeching’s axe in the early 1960’s. Campaigning and promotional work by the Campaign Committee, chaired by Thomas Bunn, increased passenger numbers and the line was saved from closure. Cressing and White Notley Stations were lit by oil lamps until the 1970’s. Braintree signal box was dismantled in 1978 and can now be seen at the East Anglian Railway Museum at Chappel and Wakes Colne Station. When the line was electrified in 1977, 21 miles of wire, 300 cubic metres of concrete and 179 steel masts were used. A diverse variety of freight has been despatched from Braintree over the years including window frames, bailey bridges, fertilisers and bananas.

John Ray The John Ray Walk is a 9 mile linear walk with distinctive directional plaques with buttercup logos and arrows linking the towns of Braintree and Witham passing through the delightful Brain Valley and the birthplace and home of John Ray. For more information ring Public Rights of Way on 0845 603 7631



Flitch Way The Flitch Way follows 15 miles of countryside along the former railway line between Bishop’s Stortford to Braintree. It is completely traffic free and can be explored on foot, bicycle or horseback. The route passes through historical towns and villages allowing you to explore places such as Great Dunmow or to combine a walk with refreshments being served at Rayne Station. Bike hire is available at Great Notley Country Park. For more information ring Country Parks: 0845 603 7624.

‘Designer Shopping and Country Living’ Braintree and Great Dunmow Short cycle routes varying from 6 miles to 20 miles exploring the area and attractions around Braintree and Great Dunmow such as Cressing Temple, Freeport, Warner Mill, Hatfield Forest, Flitch Way, Saling Hall Garden, Blake House Craft Centre. Or ring 0845 600 7373 and request your FREE ‘Cycle Essex’ pack.

Braintree Town Trail A one hour leisurely walk through the historic town of Braintree.

Tourist Information - Witham 61 Newland Street Witham Essex CM8 2FE Tel: 01376 502674 You can view all above leaflets at

Attractions on the Flitch Line Witham

Dorothy Sayers birth place Dorothy L Sayers was one of the first women to receive a degree from the University of Oxford. She was most famed for her detective novels featuring the characters Lord Peter Wimsey, Harriet Vane, and Montague Egg, but she was also a successful playwright, noted theologian, and scholar of Dante's poetry.

Infant Schools that were built in 1862 and 1897 respectively. The main building is home to the Museum Reception and Shop; Temporary Exhibition Gallery; Main Galleries; Victorian Schoolroom and John Ray Gallery, and opened in 1993. The second building was converted in 2002 and contains the Cafe and the Learning for Life Centre.

Braintree Station Freeport Station

Address: Braintree District Museum, Manor Street, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3HW Telephone: 01376 325266

Cressing Station

She moved to Witham in 1929 after her marriage to Arthur Fleming, and lived in Newland Street until her death in 1957.

White Notley Station

Great Notley Country Park

Witham Library holds a reference collection of her works, press-cuttings, reviews and letters in the Dorothy L Sayers Centre, jointly managed by Essex Libraries and the Dorothy L Sayers Society, held in a specially furnished room on the upper floor (tel 01376-519625).

To Colchester

Witham Station

The statue of Dorothy L Sayers is located in Freebournes Court. Reference: To London

White Notley John Ray Walk

John Ray (1627-1705 born in village of Black Notley, Essex) pioneered the classification of plants and animals he was also an influential philosopher and theologian. He is often referred to as the father of natural history in Britain. To celebrate the life and achievements of this great man, the John Ray Walk has been devised. This 9 mile linear walk, linking the towns of Braintree and Witham, passes through the delightful countryside of the Brain Valley, the birthplace and home of John Ray. The walk also provides a link between the two former railway lines, the Flitch Way (Braintree to Bishops Stortford) and the Blackwater Rail Trail (Maldon to Witham). These disused railway lines are now managed by Essex County Council as Country Parks. Since their demise as railways, nature has reclaimed them to provide excellent homes for many plants and animals. Foxes make their homes in the disused drainage pipes whilst slow-worms and snakes take advantage of the grassy banks for basking in the sun.You can explore and enjoy these wildlife havens, as no doubt John Ray would if he were alive today. For more information on John Ray and the John Ray Walk please view:


Cressing Temple Cressing Temple takes its unusual name from the medieval monks of the Knights Templar who founded the two vast wooden barns, which form the centrepiece of this delightful rural estate. Nestled to one side of the barns is the Walled Garden. Inspired by an age when gardens combined beauty and functionality, it is the result of painstaking research and archaeological excavation, and is filled with species widely cultivated at the time. As you step within the Tudor walls, you step back in time. Here plants have been carefully grouped according to medicinal, culinary and dyers' plants, a potager and a small orchard and nuttery. The nosegay garden is a fragrant delight with a wealth of sweetly scented plants that were grown for their perfume, whilst the arbour is planted to recall Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream with its profusion of roses, woodbine and oxlips. At the centre of the garden is the fount, on which four spouts take the form of the green man, the spirit of vegetation frequently found in medieval carvings. Set in peaceful surroundings, the gardens make a perfect escape on a clear winter's day. The barns are open throughout the main season, and visitors can enjoy a full programme of cultural events. • • • •

Two vast 13th century barns. Formal walled pleasure garden with original Tudor wall. 17th century Farmhouse and Tudor Granary. Events for the whole family. Address: Cressing Temple Witham Road, Cressing, Braintree, CM77 8PD Telephone: 01376 584903 Website:


Freeport Shopping Village Freeport Shopping Village offers over 80 stores with a range of men’s, woman’s, children’s, foot ware, gifts, cosmetics and designer stores. There is a selection of places to eat and drink and after shopping why not popover to Freeport Leisure Park and have a game of bowling or watch a film at the cinema. For more information please view:

Braintree Warner Mill

Located at Warner’s Mill, Silks Way, the Warner Textile Archive is of national importance, but its roots are firmly here in Braintree. The archive is a unique record of the history of textile manufacture and design since the 18th century. It includes almost every example of woven and printed fabric produced by the Warner company as well as original artwork by leading designers commissioned to furnish palaces, stately homes, liners, hotels and ordinary homes.

The Gallery Open to the public three days a week, the Gallery is a celebration of the diverse collection of fabrics and designs within the Warner Textile Archive. Colour, Shape and Texture are the key words to describe the Gallery. Every drawer and display case takes the visitor on an exciting voyage of discovery from Warner’s unique three-pile velvets, the intricate woven silks of Owen Jones and the cutting edge designs of the 1920s and '30s through to the boldness of the '50s and the iconic creations of the late twentieth century. Address: The Warner Textile Archive, Silks Way Braintree, Essex, CM7 3GB Telephone: 01376 557741

Braintree Museum At Braintree District Museum the story of the District and its diverse industrial and cultural history unfolds. The Main Galleries examine the development of the area from prehistory to the twenty-first century, focusing upon the textile and manufacturing industries of Courtaulds, Warners and Crittalls, as well as displays of Castle Hedingham pottery, the work of the Great Bardfield artists and Essex straw and lace. A vibrant calendar of temporary exhibitions complements the Main Galleries throughout the year. The Museum is housed in the converted Victorian Manor Street Junior and

Great Notley Country Park covers some 100 acres of open space, which is managed for the benefit of wildlife and the community. The site was formally arable farmland and has been transformed into a mixture of wetland and open grassland. Each of these habitats provides a haven for a variety of species. The park includes a number of mature species of native trees. Elsewhere, bats have made their homes in the grassland and wildflower meadows. Walking, cycling, jogging and horse riding can all be enjoyed in the park and beyond with its links to the Flitch Way in the north and the bridleway in the south. A variety of activities and events are held throughout the year. Families can picnic or fly kites or, for the more energetic, there is an all-weather, multi-activity, floodlit pitch and two grass football pitches. There's also an excellent visitor centre, housed in the award-winning Discovery Centre. An outstanding example of sustainable architecture, this has been designed with construction materials, which ensure low maintenance and energy consumption to reduce the impact on the environment. Address: Great Notley Country Park, Great Notley, CM77 7FS Telephone: 01376 347134

Flitch Way The Flitch Way passes through 15 miles of countryside along the former Bishop's Stortford to Braintree railway in the heart of rural Essex. Its name comes from a medieval ceremony, which originated in Little Dunmow and which still takes place every four years. The ceremony involved married couples trying to prove that they hadn't argued for a year and a day - if successful they were awarded with a Flitch (or side) of bacon. The route of the Flitch Way has a multi-user surface making it accessible for all throughout the year. Much of the route can be explored on foot, bicycle or horseback taking you through wildlife-rich railway cuttings, past Victorian stations and over embankments with views across impressive farmlands, villages and woodland. Cycling the 8 mile route from Braintree to Little Dunmow is particularly ideal for families as it is completely traffic free giving everybody the opportunity to discover the wildlife.  The start of the Flitch Way route at Braintree is adjacent to the Railway Station. The route passes through historical towns and villages allowing you to explore places such as Great Dunmow or to combine a walk/cycle ride with refreshments being served at Rayne Station. The station was built in 1866 and was one of the busiest on the line. Renovated in 1994, it is now the Visitor Centre and Ranger base for the Flitch Way. The Flitch Way forms part of the National Cycle Network route 16 The Flitch way also links with other countryside attractions such as Great Notley Discovery Centre and Hatfield Forest.