Station Name:LANGFORD & ULTING

[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 2nd October 1848
Location: On south side of Langford Road (B1019)
Company on opening: Eastern Counties Railway
Date closed to passengers: 7.9.1964
Date closed completely: 7.9.1964
Company on closing: British Railways (Eastern Region)
Present state: The platform is extant and clear of undergrowth and now forms part of the Blackwater Rail Trail. The stationmaster's house is in private occupation.
County: Essex
OS Grid Ref: TL842088
Date of visit: August 1976

Notes: The station was opened as Langford and was renamed Langford & Ulting on 1 July 1923. Although built with two tracks it is unclear if Langford ever had to platforms as the other track was removed at a very early date. Facilities at the station were very basic; the original platform had no buildings but it was lengthened towards the end of the 20th century and a canopy over a bench seat and two oil lamps were provided. This remained the same until closure. A signal box was built on the south side of the bridge opposite the platform in the late 19th century, this was however short lived and it had been closed and demolished by 1922. A two-storey house was provided for the stationmaster to the rear of the platform. At one time around the turn of the 20th century there was, unusually, a station mistress. The station never had goods facilities.

BRIEF HISTORY OF RAILWAYS TO MALDON (Text taken from It's about Maldon web site)
Maldon had long been an important port for the movement of goods to and from the market town of Braintree The port had suffered loss of business to the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation, a canal that was opened in 1796 to serve the County town of Chelmsford.

Plans for a railway line to Witham and Braintree and also a projected line to Chelmsford were deposited in 1845. Following a private Act of Parliament Royal Assent was given in June 1846 granting power to run the line from Maldon via Heybridge, Langford and Wickham Bishops to Witham.

Eastern Counties Railway purchased the shares from the proprietors and in 1847 the building contract was given to Thomas Jackson. The main terminus was built on Potman Marsh and followed a very grand and ornate design and required the labour of a very large work force to construct.

The terminus was rumoured to have come about as a result of a political bribe. It was said that in order to improve the chances of the re-election of a local MP, he instituted major employment in order to encourage voters and Malden station was the means to provide it.

Two bridges were built to cross the river Chelmer and the Chelmer and Blackwater navigation with a dock constructed alongside the canal. Where the track crossed the Causeway a level crossing was built and also an underpass for the passage of pedestrians and animals. The station also included a large goods yard and there were plans for a dock to be constructed within it so that goods could be taken directly from the boats to the goods trucks. Part of the uncompleted dock can still be seen today.

The first goods train left Maldon East Station on 18 April 1848 with passenger services running from 2 October 1848.

Originally the line to Witham was dual track but due to the line not performing as planned one track was lifted during the period of the Crimean War (1854-6) and sold to the War Office.

In 1862 Eastern Counties Railway was absorbed into the Great Eastern Railway who constructed the Maldon to Woodham Ferris line including the Maldon West Station which opened in 1889. This line linked Maldon with the newly constructed London to Southend-on-sea railway which had opened the same year. In 1923, both lines became part of the London and North Eastern Railway.

During the Second World war the passenger services on the Maldon West to Woodham Ferrers line was withdrawn as an economy measure and never reinstated. Following the war, the line continued to be used for goods traffic but with nationalisation, completely closed in 1953.

The lines were now part of the Eastern Region of British Railways. The goods yard at Maldon West continued in use linking with Maldon East but finally closed in 1959 and the track was lifted a few years later. The tunnel was filled in and the goods yard turned into an industrial estate. One shed still remains and the brick wall is still in place on the bridge.

The Maldon East to Witham line continued with diesel replacing steam for both passenger and goods services but the 'Beeching axe' was falling on unprofitable lines and despite the public objection, it finally closed to passenger traffic in 1964. The goods service continued with a few trains a day carrying canned fruit and agricultural machinery until even that closed on April 15 1966. approximately half a mile of the branch from Witham station toward Maldon was used as a siding serving an industrial area for delivery of steel by railway, this section closed in the early 1980s after a rail strike. The track was lifted in 1969.

Today much of the track bed between Witham and Maldon has become the Blackwater Rail Trail. The route passes through the pretty village of Langford and includes views of the River Blackwater and a riverside section along the River Chelmer into Maldon. There have been a number of proposals to reopen the Malden - Witham line in recent years. A report on the feasibility of reopening the line was written in 1996 and another is planned for 2016.

Tickets from Michael Stewart except 5622 Brian Halford. Bradshaw from Nick Catford.


Langford & Ulting Photo Gallery 1: 1905 - April 1964


The basic facilities that were provided at Langford station are clearly seen in this view c1905. A this time Langford had a Station Mistress, her house is seen behind the platform.
Copyright photo from John Alsop collection


1874 1:2,500 OS map shows the station after the second track was lifted. There is clearly sufficient room for two tracks. The access path from Langford Road is seen close to the bridge. No shelter is
. shown on the platform.

1897 1:2,500 OS map. The platform has been lengthened and now has a shelter. A signal box has also been provided opposite the platform. The access path from Langford Road shows steps.

1922 1:2,500 OS map. The station name was changed to Langford & Utling on 1 July 1923 but is just identified here as 'station'. The signal box has closed and has been demolished.

1956 1:2,500 OS map. The station is now identified as Langford and Utling but nothing else has changed.

Langford & Utling station looking south-east in 1957.
Photo from John Mann collection

Langford Station c late 1950s. The platform shelter remained unchanged throughout the 20th century. Access to the station was along a path from Langford Road at the north end of the platform.
Photo from John Mann collection

A Derby 'Lightweight' 2-car unit from the first production batch, built from about 1955, waits at Langford at Utling station in the early 1960s with a service for Witham.
Photo received from Glen Dersley


A goods train hauled by a class 15 diesel loco bound for Maldon East is seen at at Langford & Ulting Station looking north west in c early 1960s.
Photo received from Glen Dersley

In its last few years a Waggon and Maschinenbau Railbus provided the service on the Witham - Maldon branch; seen here in April 1964, six months before closure. Railbuses were a very lightweight type of railcar designed specifically for passenger transport on little-used lines. In the late 1950s, British Rail tested a series of small railbuses, produced by a variety of manufacturers. These proved to be very economical, but also somewhat unreliable.  Five railbuses were built in Germany in 1958 by Waggon und Maschinenbau for British Railways. Most of the lines worked by the railbuses were closed as a result of the Beeching cuts and all the vehicles were withdrawn by the end of the 1960s. Four have however survived into preservation.
Photo from John Mann collection

Click here for Langford & Ulting Photo Gallery 2:
Mid 1960s - 2014


 

 

 

[Source: Alan Young]


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