The Kelvedon And Tollesbury Light Railway was an 8-mile-42-chain (13.72 km) light railway in Essex. The line, which was part of the Great Eastern Railway (GER), was authorised on 29th January 1901, although its opening was delayed until 1st October 1904.
The area served by the railway lay between the GER main line and the coast, mostly agricultural land, with fruit being a main crop. At Tiptree the jam-making firm Wilkin & Sons, founded in 1885, 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.
Of the intermediate stations, only Tiptree, Tollesbury and Tolleshunt D'Arcy 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 were no through tickets to mainline stations.
The 1.75 miles (2.8 km) extension to Tollesbury Pier never brought the expected traffic. During World War I it was used for troop training on the river and was subsequently closed to passengers in 1921.The government took it over during World War II and erected defences along it.
The whole line closed for passenger traffic after the last trains on 5th May 1951. Freight traffic continued between Tollesbury Pier and Tiptree until 29th October 1951. The section between Tiptree and Kelvedon continued in use for freight traffic until 28th September 1962.
Tollesbury Pier railway station was 10 miles 8 chains (16.25 km) from Kelvedon Low Level station. The station was opened 15th May 1907, but was closed to passengers on 17th July 1921.
At Tollesbury were two loops. One served as a goods siding. The other was used when the train drew forward over an ungated level crossing, and the engine would run around it for the journey back (following the closure of Tollesbury Pier). Until 1921, Tollesbury Pier station was the true terminus. A desolate station built on the marshes. It was supposed to attract people and developers to turn the area into a yachting centre on par with Brightlingsea and Burnham-On-Crouch, but in the end it only served a few fishermen and was closed before WWII. The pier fell into disrepair after the railway withdrew from it, and had sections knocked out of it during the war to stop the Germans landing. The floods of 1953 saw to the rest of it. This is by far the most remote station on the line, and involves a 1.2 mile / 2 km walk, in each direction. I first visited this area whilst doing part of the Essex 100. I saw remains of the pier and pill box, but didn't take much notice of the fact there used to be a train station here. Lots of history... very interesting!
This geocache is placed within a couple of metres of the public footpath, so you do not need to extend your search further than this. No geocaches are placed in habitats which are sensitive to trampling or other disturbance. To minimise disturbance to birds in the SSSI, you must keep dogs under control and on a lead when in or near habitats likely to support ground-nesting birds including salt marsh, grazing marsh and shingle. This cache has been placed with kind permission of Natural England.