Watlington
Magdalen Road
To March

The Bramley Line

Welcome to Norfolks disused railway's page of Magdalen Road-Watlington to Wisbech line.


The Bramley Line Between Watlington or Magdalen Road was opened in February 1848 and was closed in 1968 as far as Wisbech.


The line after Wisbech to march remained open until 2000 for freight 

The Bramley Line called at

Watlington

Magdalen Gate

 

Middle Drove

 

Smeeth Road

 

Emneth

 

Walsoken

 

Wisbech East

Coldham

March

The line has had many attempts to reopen in-between March & Wisbech as the line bed lies clear and the railway is still down in places.

Sadly this part in-between Watlington & Wisbech is blocked off in many parts and Wisbech Station has been demolished and a housing estate built over the area.

Please also look at this page by Lewis Collard with his amazing pictures of the remains from this line.

Click me for Lewis Collards page

Google My maps coverage from the Bramley line 

Watlington | Magdalen Road station

Watlington or Magdalen Road station opened in 1846 as Watlington for services to then only as far as ely.

 

The rest of the line to Cambridge and London was completed in stages shortly after.

In 1848 Watlington Junction opened with a line to Wisbech that closed in 1968.

Also with the closure of the line on the 9th of September 1968 the station closed. 

Locals petitioned and finally got the station reopened on May the 5th 1975 the station reopened still called Magdalen Road.

 

On the 3rd of October 1989 the line changed its name back to Watlington but still to this day the signal box carrys the

Network South East sign of Magdalen Road 

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Credit archant via Facebook

Watlington signal box in 2020 what still carries the network South East style name Magdalen Road what the station was originally  called until 1989

 

Magdalen road signal box
magdalen road signal box

Here we see the old platform at watlington station that was in use when the line once ran to Wisbech and March.

Watlington Station
Watlington station

Just by the station we see this old railway remain from the bygone days

Watlington station norfolk

The new platform at Watlington.

Built when the station reopened.

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Magdalen road \ Watlington station

Watlington station viewed from the road with the still in use signal box in the distance.

The new Platform is to the left whilst the old Station house is to the right of this picture.

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Leaving Magdalen road | Watlington there was a junction just after the station to the Ely side of the platform where the Wisbech | March line went off from the main line heading March bound.

The next two pictures are taken from the side of the station where roughly the old track bed would of been leaving Magdalen Road towards Wisbech

watlington wisbech track bed
watlington wisbech track bed

Just after leaving Watlington we can see from these two aerial shots where the old railway once ran with the first bridge in the second photo.

Watlington wisbech railway
Bramley line aerial shot

Next after we leave Magdalen Road heading towards Wisbech we cross 4 bridges two are still there and two are just small remains of the former bridges.

Since writing this page one of the bridges at Stow road had been demolished.


Number one crosses the river ouse relief channel and still in use as public footpath.

Number two is just brick remains crossing the river ouse.


Number three are brick remains crossing stow road -vehicle road.

Number 4 is a still used bridge used by farm land access by public foot path and trust me its a long walk. 


Please look at the google map coverage I have
done for rough track lay out and bridge positions.

watlington railway line bridges

Bridge number one crossing the river Ouse relief channel

Bramley Line
magdalen road wisbech railway bridge
magdalen road wisbech railway bridge
Bramley line
magdalen road wisbech railway bridge
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Bramley line
Watlington railway bridge

Just after the first bridge crossing the great River Ouse relief channel the Railway came across its next Bridge yards away from the first bridge crossing the River Ouse.

This bridge has been demolished and now all that remains to this day is the brick supports on the river banks.

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Bramley line
Bramley line
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The third bridge  crossing Stow road 

MMR 2333

magdalen road wisbech railway bridge
magdalen road wisbech railway bridge
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Not long after taking these pictures the former remains from this bridge are completely demolished in I guess mid to late 2021

Watlington to March Railway

Bridge number 4 crossing the middle level main drain 

This bridge is accessible for photography via a public footpath but not accessible to walk over and trust me it was a long walk.

Middle level foot drain railway bridge
Bramley line railway bridge
middle level main drain
Bramley Line

Middle Drove Station

Next along the line we see Middle Drove station.

Middle drove station like the rest closed in 1968 and is now used as a private residence.

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Smeeth road
Railway Station.


Smeeth road station in the village of Marshland Saint James closed in 1968.

This old station building is also now used as private residence.

Opposite this station there are now houses blocking off where this old line used to run.

smeeth road railway station
smeeth road railway station
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Enmeth station

Here we see Emneth station in 2020 from the Magdalen road/Watlington march Bramley Line

emneth station

Close to Walsoken there remains this old Level crossing cottage.

With no sign or the level crossing left all that remains is this cottage in great condition. 

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Wisbech East Station

Wisbech railway station opened 1st of march 1848 as Wisbech and on the 4th 1877of may was renamed Wisbech.

In September 1948 on the 27th it was renamed again Wisbech east as there was another dtaioon in the market town also existed and the other was renamed Wisbech North at the same time.

On the 9th of September 1968 the station closed and the line was also closed and only used until 2000 for freight use.

Wisbech East station had services to not only Watlington & March but also Saint Ives and also the Wisbech & Upwell tram way.

The station in this day had completely gone and the site now occupies a housing estate.

The line for freight use that also not longer in use buy still lays in situ started after closure from the industrial estate.

Wisbech East to March

Wisbech East station

 

Welcome to the Wisbech to march part of the Bramley line.

This 7.8 mile part of the line remained open after 1968 until finally closed in 2000 to freight use from the out skirts of Wisbech to march.

Even though this part of the line has now closed not only is the track bed from the outskirts of Wisbech still unblocked but also most of the track bed remains down and many many campaigns are trying to get this line reopened from Wisbech to March.

As seen above the site of the old station has long gone and a new station would need to be built with ease just on the edge of the market town of Wisbech with plenty of space to build and no need to cross the now busy A47 King's Lynn,Wisbech,Peterbrough bypass

This part of the webpage was mostly photographed in 2020

My Google Earth map coverage of where the line would run if it was to reopen.

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After services left Wisbech station heading towards march the line turned quite a sharp turn left facing towards march to be then a pretty much straight route across the Fens.

Just after the curve on the line there was a junction for a freight yard that remained long after the closure and became the start of the freight line that remained open after closure of the passenger services in 1968

This freight line here has now been lifted and is now part of the carpark of the now built pet food factory that sits on the site of the old freight yard.

Once on the straight line the railway passed over two level crossings.

Weasenham lane and then New bridge lane crossings.

The line then in its early days crossed a field called south bridge field where now the A47 stands.

Once the A47 was constructed there was also a Level crossing installed here and shortly after the line would of gone through another empty field where at this point if the line was to be reconstructed where its been proposed to construct this new station as it would save crossing the busy A47 bypass.

After the Proposed new station site we come to Redmoor lane level crossing

Red moor lane level crossing Wisbech.Lovely chat with the owner of the crossing cottage lovely bloke lovely to meet like minded people

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Wisbech side of the crossing there is a small bridge that crosses Redmoor drain and as can be seen also in the sign in the picture below the bridge code is.

Wig2319

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After Redmoor crossing the line ran through the fens passing over to what see be a farm crossing only before arriving at Long Drove crossing where the Bramley Line Railway trust is sited and also called 

Waldersea Depot

Bramley Line
Bramley Line
Bramley Line
Bramley Line
Bramley Line

Coldham station

Coldham station was in Coldham in Cambridgeshire and was opened in 1847 until 1966 when the station was closed to passengers and then in 1968 the whole line closed to Passengers and in the year 2000 the whole line closed after the freight line use stopped.

Nothing remains of Oldham station building to this day apart from a small part of the toilet block thats hidden amongst the over growth.

The level crossing gates also still remain and maybe one day if the line was to re open might see replaced and in use once again.

Coldham was the only station in-between Wisbech and March.

Coldham station in roughly 1960 used from

Wisbech

Cambridgeshire Community Archive Network

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Coldham crossing in October 2020 

All that remained to this day was this manual crossing gate and the station site would of been to the right hand side of the crossing gates seen here pre closure.

Coldham station

After Coldham station site i found this old farm crossing just off the B1101 road with easy parking and here we can see how the track bed still remains to this day.

Bramley line
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Bramley Line

After the farm crossing the line heading towards March via White Moore junction.Next we come to this Level crossing Close to Friday Bridge and March on the B1101 this level crossing as you can see in the pictures still has all the track laid here and just after has a small drain crossing.

If the line was to reopen its said this bridge will need replacing here.

Looking back towards Coldham & Wisbech from the level crossing.

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Bramley Line

B1101 Level crossing photographed from the B1101 with Wisbech to the left & March and the fen drain crossing bridge to the right of this photograph.

Looking at  this crossing with the lights still intact from when the line closed in 2000

 

If passing you could think this line was still open.

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B1101 crosssing seen here with the Twenty foot river drain bridge crossing.

Wisbech would of been to the Right and March would of been to the Left.

Bramley line

Twenty foot river drain bridge seen here in 2020 with the track still in place.

This bridge if the line was to be reopened would need to be replaced as when looking at the bridge there and pieces missing and looking in need of attention. 

Bramley line Bridge
Bramley bridge

Next along the line we come across the last level crossing on the 

B1101 Elm road.

 

 

Here once again we can see how the track along this line is still laid down along this long lost line.

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Whitemoor Junction

After crossing the level crossing at Elm road the train would of approached Whitemoor junction where a extensive goods yard also stood.

Also at Whitemoor junction was where the March to Spalding line once ran on the Great Northern and Great Eastern Railway and was closed in 1982.

The Wisbech Watlington line here at Whitemoor junction is still connected to the main line but is locked off to the right hand side of the picture seen below.

This junction has been left in place incase this line was to ever reopen.

Whitemoor junction the line to the right is where the Wisbech Watlington-Magdalen road services would arrive at March.

The line to the left is the entrance to Network rails recycling centre that opened in 2004 on the site of the huge old marshalling yard that was open from the 1920 to the 1980s

At the rear of the railway yard not stands high security Category A men's prison

Hmp Whitemoor

Where the prison now stands is where the Spalding-March line once laid

Please click on the image for a expanded version.

Whitemoor junction

March marshalling yard 

Thanks to Ben Brooksbank 

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March Railway station

March railway station in Cambridgeshire is 85 miles 76 chains from London King's cross.

March was opened in 1847 and was a major junction in its time.

March once had seven platforms but now only has two in use platforms with services to Peterbrough-Ely-Norwich-Stansted  Airport-Liverpool Lime street and also services to Leicester and Birmingham.

March station also has many freight trains pass through from the Marshalling yard. 

The two platforms at march that used to take services to Wisbech and Spalding still remain even though closed off they still remain and also the footbridge still remains also.

These platforms were mothballed and left incase the line as far as Wisbech only will be reopened either by Network rail or as a heritage railway.

March Railway station with a steam service leaving from the now closed platforms where the March-Spalding lines once left 

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March railway station disused platforms taken in 2020 

These platforms have been kept for the possible reopening of the Bramley Line as far as Wisbech where a brand new station would be needed to save the railway crossing the busy A47 Bypass.

Bramley line
March Railway station
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The pictures below are from March station of a sign just by the level crossing by the Signal box at March and also the Signal box.

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Also from March there was a service to Spalding and a few of the remains from the lost railway I managed to photograph and i have these pictures on one of my other webpages.

Lines out side of Norfolk.

 

Please Click me for the Spalding line photos

Thanks for looking please feel free to look at my other pages