The abandoned railway station that's now a major road

Great Dunmow railway station
-Credit: (Image: Flickr Stuart Axe)

Essex is a county steeped in history, especially when it comes to our railway lines and stations. From stations that played a crucial role during the Second World War, to bustling commuter hubs that see thousands of people pass through daily.

However, Essex also has its fair share of abandoned railway stations, including one that's now been transformed into a major road. Dunmow railway station, which once served Great Dunmow, Essex, is one such example.

The station was initially proposed by a group of Hertfordshire businessmen who were keen to secure easy transport for malt and barley from towns and villages in West Essex. The line, along with Dunmow station, officially opened to passengers on February 22 1869, and on the same day, the BSDandBR company was absorbed by the Great Eastern Railway.

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Over the years, additional stations were added to the line, including Easton Lodge in 1894, Hockrill Halt in 1910, and Stane Street and Banister Green Halts in 1922. Despite these additions, the passenger service struggled to turn a profit.

During the Second World War, the line was used to transport thousands of tons of rubble for the construction of Saling airfield, located 5 miles from Braintree. Later, bombs were transported to the same destination under the cover of darkness.

The United States Air Force bases at Stansted and Easton Lodge also regularly received armaments and stores via Bishop's Stortford and Takeley station.

Following the war in June 1944, ambulance trains utilised the line to transport wounded soldiers back home. However, with the end of the war came a surge in car and bus transport, leading to the service running virtually empty.

This resulted in the termination of regular services on March 3, 1952. Despite this, the station wasn't officially closed to passengers until after August 1961, and it ceased goods operations on April 1, 1969.

Today, no remnants of the station exist. The former site of the station and track has been transformed into Flitch Way, a walking and cycling path that stretches from Braintree to Bishops Stortford along the 15-mile course of the Bishops Stortford, Dunmow and Braintree.

It's also been used to form the B1256 Dunmow Bypass, leaving no trace of the railway.