Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway


Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway

The Kelvedon and Tollesbury Light Railway, authorised under the Light Railways Act 1896 operated between the two towns of Kelvedon and Tollesbury to the south of Colchester in Essex, England. The line, which was part of the Great Eastern Railway (GER), was authorised on 29 January 1901, although its opening was delayed until 1 October 1904 [ [http://www.tiptreeturner.co.uk/crabandwinkle.html "Crab & Winkle Line"] ] .

The area served by the railway lay between the GER main line and the coast, mostly agrictural land, with fruit being a main crop. At Tiptree the jam-making firm founded by A.C. Wilkin in 1885 [ [http://www.tiptree.com/family_history.php Tiptree jam] ] provided a large amount of the freight traffic; it had also been hoped that a tourist trade would ensue from the yachts moored near Tollesbury. The line became known locally as "The Crab and Winkle Line [Although the original railway to bear that name was the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway, which used a play on the initial letters of the line]

Of the intermediate stations on the Railway, only Tiptree and Tollesbury had substantial buildings; the others merely had an old passenger coach for accommodation. All the platforms were at a low level; there was no signalling, since only one locomotive worked the line; and only local tickets were issued on the trains, there being no through booking to mainline stations ["The Railway Magazine" Tothill Press Ltd, No 496 Vol 96 December 1950] .

The 1.75 ml (2.8km) extension to Tollesbury Pier never brought the expected traffic. During WWI it was used for troop training on the river; the government took it over during WWII and erected defences along it. All normal passenger trains terminated at Tollesbury [ [http://www.tiptreeturner.co.uk/crabandwinkle.html additional notes] ] .

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