Great Eastern Main Line

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Great Eastern Main Line
Principal stations (from south to north)

London Liverpool Street
Forest Gate
Manor Park
Seven Kings
Chadwell Heath

Gidea Park
Harold Wood

Hatfield Peverel

Marks Tey

(for Clacton and Walton lines)


Needham Market


The Great Eastern Main Line is the British railway line from London Liverpool Street to Ipswich and Norwich. The route also diverges in several places to serve Harwich, Clacton and Southend.

The line is electrified at 25 kV AC, using overhead wires.

The towns served by the route, starting from London, are listed below. Towns in bold are served by fast InterCity services.

Passenger services on the route were previously operated by First Great Eastern for commuter services south of Ipswich, and Anglia Railways for fast InterCity services beyond Ipswich. On 1 April 2004, these franchises were merged to form the new 'one' franchise. Since January 2005, the line uses 16-year old Class 90 electric locomotives, capable of 110mph, although trains can only go 100 mph due to the outdated infrastructure. This "new" rolling stock was cascaded from the West Coast Main Line after the introduction of the new Pendolino units by Virgin Trains. Before the Great Eastern used 40 year old Class 86 locomotives, which had a top speed of 100 mph.

According to the Managing Director of 'one' (in December 2006), some of the overhead line equipment out as far as Shenfield is of 1940s vintage and needs proper tensioning.

Main line railways in Great Britain:
High-speed main lines:  Channel Tunnel Rail Link
'Classic' main lines:  Cross-Country Route   East Coast Main Line   Great Eastern Main Line  
 Great Western Main Line   Midland Main Line   West Coast Main Line

Railway lines in the East of England:
Main lines: East Coast Main Line   Great Eastern Main Line
Cambridge-King's Lynn "Fen" Line   Cambridge-Norwich "Breckland" Line   Colchester-Clacton "Sunshine Coast" Line
Ely-Peterborough Line   Ipswich-Ely Line   London-Cambridge Line   London, Tilbury & Southend Line
Manningtree-Harwich "Mayflower" Line   Thameslink   West Anglia Main Line   
Commuter lines: Hertford Loop Line   Lea Valley Lines   Northern City Line   Romford-Upminster Line   
Shenfield-Southend Victoria Line   Witham-Braintree Line
Rural lines: Cambridge-Ipswich Line    Crouch Valley Line   East Suffolk Line   Grantham-Skegness Line
Ipswich-Felixstowe Line   Marks Tey-Sudbury "Gainsborough" Line   Norwich-Sheringham "Bittern" Line
Peterborough-Lincoln Line   Thorpe le Soken-Walton "Sunshine Coast" Line   Wherry Lines