The railways were already well established in the Thurrock area by 1900 - but this website starts in 1970, when British
Rail were the operator of the day. British Rail was created via the Transport Act 1947 and came into being on the 1st
The railway through Thurrock became part of what was known as the LTS or London, Tilbury & Southend railway. The
~London terminus is at Fenchurch Street, with the other end actually being Shoeburyness. The line from the
Southend/Shoeburyness direction comes to Thurrock from Pitsea, with the first station being Stanford-Le -Hope; then
East Tilbury. Between Stanford & East Tilbury, thereís a spur off to what is known as Thameshaven - this spur carries
freight traffic only (ie, itís not a passenger train route. There used to be stations at Low Street and Tilbury Riverside
(closed 1992). The next station is Tilbury Town, then itís onto Grays. After Grays, the line splits with the main line
going onto Purfleet - and out of Thurrock to Rainham (Essex), then on further to London Fenchurch Street. The
other route is a single line calling at Chafford Hundred (opened 1995) and Ockendon where there is a passing loop.
The single line then continues towards Upminster and onwards to London Fenchurch Street. There is much industry to
West of Thurrock, and the railway played a large part with many sidings between Grays and Purfleet. Some of those
sidings still exist today.
Another recent development in the West of Thurrock is the arrival of the 2nd stage of the high speed rail link (2007)
for Eurostar services between London and France. Eurostar merely passes through Thurrock - coming out of a tunnel
under the river Thames, crossing between the Dartford tunnel & bridge roadways, then skirting around the town of
Purfleet. It then runs alongside the c2c line towards Rainham.
There is one other rail station in Thurrock that isnít directly connected to any of the others - West Horndon. The
railway line itself actually forms part of the boundary between the boroughs of Thurrock & Brentwood, so it only just
qualifies for inclusion on this website! West Horndon is on what is known as Ďthe main lineí, with the next station
towards London being Upminster, and in the Southend direction itís Laindon.
I donít actually have much information with regard to British Rail in Thurrock in the early days, but certainly from
1986 the railway through Thurrock became part of British Railís new Network Southeast area. A chronic lack of
investment in the line at this time saw the line labeled the Ďmisery lineí with failures of both rolling stock
and infrastructure occurring often.
In 1995 the line saw the start of very real investment when the whole signalling system was renewed. Everything from
points, cables, crossings and the signals themselves were renewed. A new integrated signal & control centre for the
line was built at Upminster. Everything was in place and control of the Thurrock area went to Upminster in August 1996.
1996 also saw the LTS line privatised, going to a company called PRISM Rail, with ownership of all the infrastructure
going to a company called Railtrack. 2000 saw,PRISM taken over by National Express (the well known long distance
coach operator) and in 2002 National Express changed the company name to c2c. The line was now shaking off itís
misery line tag and the birth of Network Rail (also in 2002) to succeed Railtrack as infrastructure owner along with new
rolling stock in the shape of 74 class 357 trains (2003) has finally seen a turnaround in the lines fortunes.
The line now regularly features at the top of league tables for punctuality and reliability, and has won many awards for
itís ever improving service.
Thurrock bus operators have a long history of being associated with the Fenchurch Street to Southend line - Harris Bus
and Town & Country provided rail replacement services.....as dose the current Thurrock operator Ensign Bus!