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|Location|| Colchester, Borough of Colchester |
|Coordinates||51°54′02.23″N0°53′34.27″E / 51.9006194°N 0.8928528°E Coordinates: 51°54′02.23″N0°53′34.27″E / 51.9006194°N 0.8928528°E|
|Managed by||Greater Anglia|
|Classification||DfT category B|
|Original company||Eastern Counties Railway|
|Pre-grouping||Great Eastern Railway|
|Post-grouping||London and North Eastern Railway|
|29 March 1843||Opened|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Colchester railway station (also known as Colchester North) is on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) in the East of England,and is the primary station serving the city of Colchester,Essex. Its three-letter station code is COL. It is 51 miles 52 chains (83.1 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and on the GEML is situated between Marks Tey to the west and Manningtree to the east. Colchester is also the location of a major junction where the GEML links to the Sunshine Coast Line,which runs south to Clacton-on-Sea and,via a short branch,to Walton-on-the-Naze;services to and from Colchester Town also join the GEML at the Colchester junction. The junction is grade-separated so trains branching to and from Colchester Town or the Sunshine Coast Line do not cross the main line.
Colchester station was opened in 1843 by the Eastern Counties Railway. It is currently managed by Greater Anglia,which also operates all trains serving the station.
The station was opened on 29 March 1843 by the Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) and was named simply as Colchester.  Locally,however,it is also known as Colchester North to distinguish it from Colchester Town station. Buses also use this unofficial name. Colchester station is not particularly conveniently sited for the city,but buses connect to the city centre. Colchester Town station is closer to the city centre (hence its name).
The ECR had planned to build a line from London to Norwich using a very similar route to that on which the Great Eastern Main Line operates today,  but funding became a problem and apart from surveying a section onwards to Ardleigh,they were forced to abandon any further line construction. 
It was three years later when the onward link to Ipswich was eventually opened by the Eastern Union Railway following intervention by business interests in Ipswich,the city having felt isolated by development of the railway to Norwich via Cambridge by the ECR. 
As passenger numbers passing through the station increased,particularly with growth on the Sunshine Coast Line,the layout of the station became inadequate. This problem was heightened on summer weekends when large numbers of holiday trains destined for Clacton-on-Sea were added to the schedules. The station had also been built on a relatively sharp curve.
Prior to electrification of the lines,Colchester was modernised in 1962,with a new station building on the north side of the tracks. Following the reconstruction,the station has two main platforms. The "up" (London-bound) side comprises two platforms,numbers 3 and 4,which have an unusual layout:3 is on the up main line and is served by intercity trains from Norwich,while 4 is on the up branch line which merges with the up main line where the two platforms join end-to-end.  However,with the unusual layout of platforms,Colchester station gains the longest physical platform in the UK as the entire length (from platform 3 to 4) measures at 620 metres (2,030 ft);Gloucester station has the longest unbroken platform at 1,977 feet (603 m). The junction is protected by a trap leading to friction buffer stops. There are also bay platforms at both ends of the up main platform. The London-end bay (platform 6) is used for peak trains to and from London. Previously this platform was used for frequent services for the Sudbury Branch Line. However,most of these services were truncated to terminate at Marks Tey from the mid-1990s. The other bay platform (platform 5) is used for services to Colchester Town and Walton-on-the-Naze. The "down" side platform is an island platform with two faces,one on the down main,and one on the down branch line. Platform 1 is mainly used for Clacton-on-Sea trains and occasionally for Norwich trains.
The main ticket office is a modern glass-fronted design,sited on the north side of the station,and access to the platforms is via a subway. The previous station building is on the south side and provides access to the up platform for those with tickets or wanting to buy tickets from a machine. To the side of the main ticket office,there is a taxi rank,as well as multiple bus stops. Both entrances to the station have automatic ticket gates.
Former train operating company Anglia Railways operated services known as London Crosslink from Norwich to Basingstoke via Stratford. This service started in 2000 and ended in 2002.
Trains are operated by Greater Anglia. The typical off-peak service comprises: 
First Great Eastern was a train operating company in England owned by FirstGroup that operated the Great Eastern franchise from January 1997 until March 2004.
National Express East Anglia (NXEA) was a train operating company in England owned by National Express that operated the Greater Anglia franchise from April 2004 until February 2012. Originally trading as One,it was rebranded National Express East Anglia in February 2008. It provided local,suburban and express services from London Liverpool Street to destinations in Essex,Hertfordshire,Cambridgeshire,Suffolk and Norfolk in the East of England.
The Great Eastern 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.
Romford railway station is an interchange station on the Great Eastern Main Line,serving the town of Romford in the London Borough of Havering,east London. It is 12 miles 30 chains (19.9 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Chadwell Heath and Gidea Park. It is also the northern terminus of a branch line to Upminster operated by London Overground. Its three-letter station code is RMF and it is in Travelcard Zone 6.
Norwich railway station is the northern terminus of the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England,serving the city of Norwich,Norfolk. It is 114 miles 77 chains (185.0 km) down the main line from London Liverpool Street,the western terminus.
Ipswich railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England,serving the town of Ipswich,Suffolk. It is 68 miles 59 chains (110.6 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and,on the main line,it is situated between Manningtree to the south and Needham Market to the north.
Cambridge railway station is the principal station serving the city of Cambridge in the east of England. It stands at the end of Station Road,1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of the city centre. It is the northern terminus of the West Anglia Main Line,55 miles 52 chains (89.6 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street,the southern terminus.
The Eastern Union Railway (EUR) was an English railway company,at first built from Colchester to Ipswich;it opened in 1846. It was proposed when the earlier Eastern Counties Railway failed to make its promised line from Colchester to Norwich. The businessman John Chevallier Cobbold and the engineer Peter Bruff were prominent in launching the company. The allied but nominally independent Ipswich and Bury Railway built a line onwards to Bury St Edmunds,also opening in 1846,and soon amalgamated with the EUR.
Witham railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) in the East of England,serving the town of Witham,Essex. It is situated about half a mile (1 km) from the north of the town centre and is 38 miles 48 chains (62.1 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street. On the GEML,Witham is situated between Hatfield Peverel to the west and Kelvedon to the east. It is the junction for the Braintree Branch Line to the east,which opened in 1848;between 1848 and 1964,it was also the junction for a west-facing branch line to Maldon. Its three-letter station code is WTM.
Marks Tey railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) in the East of England,serving the village of Marks Tey,Essex. It is 46 miles 49 chains (75.02 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and on the GEML is situated between Kelvedon to the west and Colchester to the east. Marks Tey is also the southern terminus of the Gainsborough Line to Sudbury. Its three-letter station code is MKT. The "up" (London-bound) platform 1 has an operational length for nine-coach trains,the "down" (Colchester-bound) platform 2 can accommodate 11-coach trains and platform 3 has an operational length for two-coach trains.
Shenfield railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England,serving the town of Shenfield,Essex. As well as being a key interchange for medium- and long-distance services on the main line,it is also the western terminus of a branch line to Southend Victoria and one of the two eastern termini of the Elizabeth line. It is 20 miles 16 chains (32.51 km) down the line from Liverpool Street and is situated between Brentwood and either Ingatestone on the main line or Billericay on the branch line. Its three-letter station code is SNF.
The Sunshine Coast Line is the current marketing name of what originally was the Tendring Hundred Railway Line,a branch off the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England. It links Colchester to the seaside resorts of Clacton-on-Sea and,via a branch,Walton-on-the-Naze. The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 7,SRS 07.08,and is classified as a London &South East commuter line. Passenger services on the line are currently operated by Greater Anglia.
Sudbury railway station is the northern terminus of the Gainsborough Line,a branch off the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England,serving the town of Sudbury,Suffolk. It is 11 miles 67 chains (19.05 km) down the line from the southern terminus of Marks Tey and 58 miles 32 chains (93.99 km) measured from London Liverpool Street;the preceding station on the branch is Bures. Its three-letter station code is SUY. The platform has an operational length for two-coach trains.
Wivenhoe railway station is on the Sunshine Coast Line,a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line,in the East of England,serving the small town of Wivenhoe,Essex. It is 56 miles (90 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Hythe to the west and Alresford to the east. Its three-letter station code is WIV.
Chelmsford railway station is on the Great Eastern Main Line in the East of England,serving the city of Chelmsford,Essex. It is 29 miles 60 chains (47.9 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street and is situated between Ingatestone to the west and Hatfield Peverel to the east. Its three-letter station code is CHM.
Colchester Town railway station is on the Sunshine Coast Line in the East of England,and is the secondary station serving the city of Colchester,Essex. It is 53 miles 76 chains (86.8 km) from London Liverpool Street. Its three-letter station code is CET. The city's larger station is called Colchester and is on the Great Eastern Main Line but is further away from the city centre.
Clacton-on-Sea railway station is one of the two eastern termini of the Sunshine Coast Line,a branch of the Great Eastern Main Line,in the East of England,serving the town of Clacton-on-Sea,Essex. It is 69 miles 56 chains (112.17 km) down the line from London Liverpool Street. Its three-letter station code is CLT. The preceding station on the line is Thorpe-le-Soken.
The Long Melford–Bury St Edmunds branch line was a railway between Long Melford on the Stour Valley Railway and Bury St Edmunds on the Ipswich to Ely Line. The line opened on 9 August 1865 and closed to passengers on 10 April 1961 and freight on 19 April 1965.
Forncett railway station was a railway station in Forncett,South Norfolk located 104 miles from London Liverpool Street. It was opened in 1849 when Norwich and Ipswich were connected by the Eastern Union Railway in 1849. Between 1881 and 1951 it was a junction for a short route to Wymondham and was closed as a result of the Beeching Axe with other smaller stations between Norwich and Ipswich.
Bentley railway station,also known as Bentley Junction between 1849 and 1878,was located in Bentley,Suffolk on the Great Eastern Main Line. It opened in 1846 and became a junction in 1847 when the Hadleigh Railway opened. The station was closed in 1966.
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|