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Written by Paul Green - 12 Mar 2008
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Location notes
Located 40 miles from London on the Great Eastern Main Line from London Liverpool Street to Norwich, Witham provides a junction for the single track branch to Braintree.
The station has four platforms, one of which serves the branch, the other provides a starting point for some outer suburban commuter trains and is frequently used as a holding loop for 'up' freight trains. There are also passing loops for both 'up' and 'down' lines quite clearly seen to the north east of the station. The remains of the former branch line junction to Maldon and other sidings are still present.
Railway type and traffic
Mainline passenger services from London to Norwich are usually travelling at high speed through the station hauled by Class 90 locos in a variety of liveries. Long distance services to Lowerstoft and Peterborough are usually Class 170 DMUs. Witham is a commuter town so there are frequent services most of which stop in the station usually comprising Class 321 or 360 EMUs. They also serve the branch to Braintree.
Mainline freight trains mostly consist of container traffic to and from Harwich or Felixstowe, usually hauled by Class 66 or Class 86/87/90 electrics. Sand and aggregates are also common from Marks Tey 'virtual quarry' to London. There are occasional nuclear flasks from Sizewell. In the winter there have been pairs of Class 20s or Class 20 plus Class 37 on rhtt duties.
Environment
Witham is a small commuter town station in rural north Essex. It is manned and safe. Access is via an over bridge from the ticket office. There is a small buffet on the platform but the best coffee is provided by a mobile cafe just outside the station entrance. Toilet facilities are clean and well maintained. Station staff are friendly to railway photographers.
Road directions
Witham is just north of the main A12 between Chelmsford and Colchester. From Braintree it is on the B1018. The station is sign-posted from the town.

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Witham map co-ordinates
Parking
Parking is difficult during the week owning to the commuter traffic. However, there is a Morrisons supermarket a short walk away and it is possible to park for up to 2 hours during the day.
Public transport
Apart from using the train, there is a regular bus service from Braintree to Chelmsford.

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Amenities
There is a small buffet on the platform but the best coffee is provided by a mobile cafe just outside the station entrance. Toilet facilities available on the 'up' platform are clean and well maintained.
Accommodation
There are few in Witham but there are several in the surrounding area.
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.
Witham

Googly map
Streetmap links
Witham general view map
Witham close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Witham



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Photographic notes
The best place to stand is at the north end of platform 2 where the sun comes from behind you and it is possible to see 'up' trains approaching from a long way in the distance. It is also a good spot to see trains from the Braintree branch which come round a very tight curve on their approach to the station. The best time for the sun in this location is in the morning.
For late afternoon shots it the summer the light could be better to be on Platform 3.


General views - All photographs © Paul Green unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north east


Fig 1 - Looking north east


Fig 2 - Looking north east


Fig 2 - Looking north east


Fig 3 - Looking south west


Fig 3 - Looking south west

Regarding pictures from the southern end of the station: this is really difficult because of the road over bridge which has substantial brick piers which completely obscure the view. The best view looking south is actually obtained towards the north end of platform 3 which benefits from a slight curve so that you can see through the bridge. However the sun is seldom good from this angle.

Fig 4 - Looking north


Fig 4 - Looking north


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