Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

A little more interesting than you might think

Posted in Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 30 January 2010

Southend-on-Sea in Essex might not seem the most interesting place in terms of the railways, even though it has two major routes to London, with the LTS Line running from Southend Central to London Fenchurch Street, and the Shenfield to Southend branch of the Great Eastern Main Line from Southend Victoria to London Liverpool Street. However, Southend does have interesting rail infrastructure to discuss:

Southend Pier Railway
The town’s pleasure pier is the longest in the world, stretching 1.34 miles (2.2km) out to sea. As you can imagine, this is quite a walk for people, so Southend Pier has its own railway – a two stop single line with a passing loop halfway. When the modern pier was built in 1890, the railway was installed as an electric double track tramway of 3ft 6in (1067mm) gauge, converted to a railway the following year. This was replaced between 1978 and 1986 with the 3ft (914mm) unelectrified route currently used, together with the commissioning of a pair of brand new locomotive hauled trains.

Southend Cliff Railway
The Southend Cliff Railway is a funicular railway that runs between the town’s promenade and the clifftop overlooking the promenade. Built in 1912 to replace a pioneering but ultimately unsuccessful moving walkway, it runs for a total length of 130ft up a height of 57ft at a 43% gradient. Unlike most funiculars, the Southend Railway is single track, with the counterweight running below the main track, rather than two seperate cars counterbalancing each other. Unfortunately, the Southend Cliff Railway has not operated since 2003, when it closed for repairs, since when the regulations required for its operation have changed.

See? Like I said. More interesting than you might think 😉

Southend Pier Railway
Southend Cliff Railway


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