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Bishop's Stortford, Dunmow and Braintree Branch


Peter Paye presents, in much expanded and revised form, the story of the Bishop's Stortford to Braintree branch. The line, nearly 18 miles in length, traversed a route across the undulating mid-Essex countryside running mostly at right angles to the river valleys with the result that the line had a veritable switchback of gradients. Initially the brainchild of East Hertfordshire businessmen, their idea was quickly taken over by the Eastern Counties Railway. On opening to traffic the railway was absorbed by the Great Eastern and during the halcyon days before the advent of the motor vehicle, business was good and the branch provided an essential service to the local community. As roads and motor vehicles improved, the parallel main road from Bishop's Stortford to Braintree quickly attracted passengers away from the railway and trade rapidly declined and services were withdrawn in March 1952. Freight continued for a further period and then declined rapidly.



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