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Written by Richard Allen - 03 Oct 2007
last update by Marcus Dawson - 17 Jan 2014
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Location notes
On the western outskirts of Letchworth, on the Hitchin - Cambridge line. The view overlooks Hitchin East Junction and the new (2013) Hitchin Grade Separation or Down Cambridge Flyover (DCF) as well as the old road towards Hitchin.
Railway type and traffic
This is an electrified secondary line. Regular Great Northern EMUs, mainly 365s with some 317s, 321s and 313s.
The line is a diversionary route for the ECML and occasional freight trains do appear, mostly engineers trains to/from Whitemoor Yard. Grand Central and First Hull Trains units have also been diverted this way in the past.
Environment
Open fields on the outskirts of Letchworth. The Greenway is popular with local walkers but you are very unlikely to get any hassle. No lighting and you are some way from the line, so not much use after dark. It is quite exposed, and the footpath can get muddy in places.
Road directions
From Letchworth town centre: head out of town to the west on Station Way, with the line on your right (hidden behind trees). The road eventually becomes Burnell Rise; follow this until it turns sharp left and then take the first right (Hillbrow). Continue along Hillbrow for about 200 yards (just before the road will bears to the left) and you will see the footpath signposted to your right. You can park in this area; it is residential and pretty safe.
This is also the walking route from Letchworth station; come out of the station, turn immediately right and at the end of the forecourt road, turn right again; this is Station Place, which leads to Station Way.
From the A505, if coming from the Hitchin direction, take the first left after entering the town; this is Highfields and becomes Hillbrow; you will find the footpath on your left. If coming from the Baldock direction, use the same road (obviously a right-hand turn from the A505).
Once on the footpath and out of the built-up area (only a few minutes' walk from Hillbrow), you will see the line to your right; there are many different shots that can be taken from different parts of the path.

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Letchworth Greenway map co-ordinates
Parking
Parking is OK in Hillbrow, but as it is residential, space may be limited. The area is safe to leave your car.
Public transport
About a 15-20 minute walk from Letchworth station, as per the directions above. Letchworth is served by frequent FCC services from Kings Cross to Cambridge. Local bus services also serve the station and buses towards Hitchin run along Station Way.

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Amenities
None, at the location.
Letchworth town centre has plenty of shops, including a Wetherspoons pub and the Broadway Hotel, near the station, which has a very reasonably-priced carvery. There are also some good cafes and chip shops. In addition, David's Bookshop on Eastcheap sells OS and street maps, including guides to the Greenway and also has a very good selection of railway books, both new and second-hand.
There is also a good chip shop in nearby Stotfold; Charles Fish and Chips, 9 Regent Street. Special offer if you mention Trainspots; free soft drink with any food order over 2.50
Accommodation
Broadway Hotel, Eastcheap, Letchworth.
In addition, there is a motel at Junction 10 of the A1(M) a few miles to the north-east, plus some hotels in Hitchin and Stevenage.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Letchworth Greenway

Googly map
Streetmap links
Letchworth Greenway general view map
Letchworth Greenway close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Letchworth Greenway



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Photographic notes
Looking out this is more of a panoramic view than a close up location, so a zoom lens is definitely a must and perhaps a tripod. Only really good for trains heading towards Letchworth and Cambridge, although units are symmetrically ended so it might not matter! You have a view of almost the entire Hitchin Grade Separation and the old route from Hitchin. It is possible to hear workings approaching but it is easy to confuse traffic on the Stotfold Road.
Vegetation on the bank prevents some angles.
The sun will best suit later mornings to early evening here.
The open nature of the location mean that videos will suffer from wind noise.


General views - All photographs © Richard Allen unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking west


Fig 1 - Looking west


Fig 2 - Looking west


Fig 2 - Looking west


Fig 3 - Looking west


Fig 3 - Looking west


Fig 4 - Looking west


Fig 4 - Looking west

This is where the linecrosses a minor road.

Fig 5 - Looking north west - Image Marcus Dawson



Fig 5 - Looking north west - <i>Image  Marcus Dawson</i>

The Down Cambridge Flyover (DCF) can be seen in the background.

Fig 6 - Looking west - Image Marcus Dawson



Fig 6 - Looking west - <i>Image  Marcus Dawson</i>

A Cambridge bound working heads along the old route.

Fig 7 - Looking west - Image Marcus Dawson



Fig 7 - Looking west - <i>Image  Marcus Dawson</i>

Crossing the DCF (Down Cambridge Flyover) a 365 heads towards the junction.

Location Video


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