The Anonymous Widower

New £157m Chelmsford Railway Station Makes Progress

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

This is the introductory paragraph.

The submission of an environmental impact assessment application to Chelmsford City Council for the proposed £157m Beaulieu railway station marks the next step in the ambitious project.

It may not be a large step, but it moves things forward to creation of this new Beaulieu station, North of the City of Chelmsford, which should be open around 2025.

Beaulieu Station Will Have Three Platforms

Intriguingly, Wikipedia says that the station will have three platforms.

The stations on the Great Eastern Main Line between Shenfield and Colchester will have the following numbers of platforms.

  • Ingatestone – 2
  •  Chelmsford – 2
  • Beaulieu – 3
  • Hatfield Peverel – 2
  • Witham – 4
  • Kelvedon – 2
  • Marks Tey – 3

As Witham and Marks Tey have branch lines, Beaulieu will be very much the outsider.

I suspect the extra platform is very much for reasons, similar to those that result in Cambridge North station being built as a three-platform station with two through and one bay platform.

I don’t think we’ll see Crossrail extended to Beaulieu.

  • The route between Shenfield and Beaulieu is only double-track.
  • All passenger trains currently on the route are 100 mph electric trains.
  • Crossrail’s Class 345 trains are only 90 mph trains.

The speed mismatch would slow services to and from stations to the North.

But will we see a new service between London Liverpool Street and Beaulieu, which stops at perhaps, Stratford, Romford, Shenfield, Ingatestone and Chelmsford?

I suspect we will certainly see a new service terminating at Beaulieu, even if it is only in the Peak.

How Will Current Services Call At Beaulieu?

Currently, one fast and four stopping services stop in Chelmsford station every hour.

There are actually two trains per hour (tph) between London Liverpool Street and Norwich, but only one stops at Chelmsford.

So will the second hourly fast service stop at Beaulieu?

I would certainly be logical.

The four stopping services, that stop at Chelmsford every hour are.

  • London Liverpool Street and Braintree
  • London Liverpool Street and Clacton-on-Sea
  • London Liverpool Street and Colchester Town
  • London Liverpool Street and Ipswich

As all services stop at most stations, I would expect they would stop at Beaulieu.

  • This would give Beaulieu a four tph Turn-Up-And-Go service to and from Chelmsford station, which uniquely for East Anglia is in the centre of the City.
  • If the third platform were to be used for a fifth service to London Liverpool Street, this would be a train every twelve minutes between Chelmsford and Beaulieu stations.
  • I can see that for some journeys, the fastest and most convenient route may include a change of train at Beaulieu.

I also seem to remember, that Greater Anglia had plans to extend the Ipswich service to Norwich and this will surely be useful to travellers from Beaulieu, who would then have a fast and a stopping service to Norwich.

A Park-And-Ride For Football And Events At Ipswich And Norwich Football Grounds

Both football grounds at Ipswich and Norwich are close to the stations and I can see many attendees driving to Beaulieu  to catch a train, as parking in both Ipswich and Norwich can be difficult.

If in the future, there are two tph between Beaulieu and both destinations, it could be the quickest way to the grounds.








August 20, 2021 - Posted by | Sport, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,


  1. I have just found this document that provides more information on the proposed layout of the station:

    The proposed Beaulieu station site is located on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML), 3 miles
    north east of Chelmsford. Figure 2.1 illustrates the preferred operational layout. It comprises a 3
    platform station incorporating a central loop to allow the turn back of services as required. This
    scheme option gives Network Rail full operational ability to turn back trains in both directions and
    also allows trains to pass each other in both directions.


    Comment by Matthew Goode | August 20, 2021 | Reply

  2. Thanks for that!

    Comment by AnonW | August 20, 2021 | Reply

  3. Another interesting comment from Network Rail on Page 21 of the same document:

    A central, 3 platform operational layout is critically important for the new Beaulieu station
    considering its location on the GEML. The station is proposed to be a rail head and would be used
    to terminate some of the services that today terminate at Chelmsford, to distribute demand
    effectively and to allow for services to be timetabled effectively. It would therefore move some
    terminating services and associated Empty Coaching Stock (ECS) moves out of the way to allow for
    better segregation of services. It works with the strategic need of improved journey times and
    Having a two-platform station would not help achieve improved journey times nor improved capacity
    as it is adding another constraint on the existing heavily constrained two-track railway and cannot be
    supported at Beaulieu. Whilst service patterns are still to be agreed in terms of what a good
    Beaulieu station is and what it could look like, a central loop / turnback station will further help
    resilience, performance of the network and the planning of fast/slow services.”


    Comment by Matthew Goode | August 20, 2021 | Reply

  4. Thanks again!

    Comment by AnonW | August 20, 2021 | Reply

  5. I see from the attachment provided the project is costed at 157m at Grip 2 in 2019 so that be wrong side of £200m if the project ever gets progressed. If commuting demand is permanently supressed there will be no need to start trains back from Chelmsford especially with the new trains having more capacity.

    However, in these projects there is a budget for the cost of Sch4 (compensation to TOCs for disruptive possessions) which given its a primary route it will be a high rate. Then the FOCs also have to be compensated for all there additional costs and with the high Freightliner traffic flows would be a fair amount I wager, So with GBR on the scene effectively running passenger operations through concessions there ceases to be any point to Sch4 for TOCs so that could potentially take 10’s millions off the cost and other similar projects although my view is it won’t happen unless a third party is funding it.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 20, 2021 | Reply

    • It’s going to be surrounded by 14,000 new homes.

      Comment by AnonW | August 20, 2021 | Reply

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