Friday, 25 September 2009

Book Review: Lost Railways of Essex

Railways hold a massive social legacy in this county as elsewhere. Robin Jones has produced a book which charts the demise and fate of some lines which fell even before the Beeching Axe in the 1960s as well as afterwards. The first Chapter shows how the railway has changed in the Docklands area of old Essex (London) and how some lines have recently become mothballed to facilitate regeneration in the early twenty-first century. A whole Chapter is then devoted to the Epping to Ongar branch of the Central Line (formerly Great Eastern Railway) which closed on 30 September 1994, but has since become the ground of the fledgling Epping to Ongar Railway Preservation Society. Many of the lines which were extant in the north of the County have now gone: the line from Bishops Stortford to Witham was severed at Braintree and is now the Flitch Way, and routes to Maldon from Witham and Woodham Ferrers long defunct, though the station architecture of Maldon East remains on the town’s industrial estate. It is a good book, liberally illustrated with archive and well as modern photos of buildings and rolling stock. ‘The Lost Railways of Essex’ (Countryside Books, 2008) by Robin Jones is available, price £10.99.

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