The development and building of the first railway station on the Great Eastern mainline in more than 100 years is now underway at Beaulieu in Chelmsford.
Works began at the site near the Boreham Interchange in January. Local MPs, councillors and senior representatives from the partners involved in the project visited the site today (17 March) to see how the development is progressing.
It is expected the work will be completed and the station open by the end of 2025.
The new station and connected transport links, such as the new Beaulieu Parkway relief road and the Chelmsford North-East by-pass, will play a significant role in transforming travel in Chelmsford and the surrounding areas.
It will help relieve pressure at the Chelmsford train station, reduce car journeys into the city, and therefore tackle congestion on local roads, reduce pollution and encourage more Chelmsford residents to use safer, greener, healthier modes of travel for short journeys.
The new station is being funded by nearly £160 million, which includes £124 million from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure Fund, £12 million from the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership and £22 million from the developers of Beaulieu, Countryside and L&Q.
The station is a significant addition to the Beaulieu and Channels neighbourhoods in the north of the city, which form the first phases of the new Chelmsford Garden Community.
The Beaulieu Park station will provide travel to London Liverpool Street in 40 minutes and will include three platforms, car parking, a public transport interchange, cycling facilities and new track for passing trains.
Cllr Lesley Wagland OBE, ECC Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning, said: “I am very pleased work is now underway on the Beaulieu Park train station. It is such an important development and significant investment in the future growth of Chelmsford and the surrounding areas and demonstrates Essex County Council’s commitment to sustainable travel and providing modern transport routes that will last many years.”
Kemi Badenoch, MP for Saffron Walden, said: “Having worked closely with neighbouring MPs, councils and various stakeholders to secure the funding for the new Beaulieu train station, I am delighted construction on the site has now begun.
“The station will make a huge difference to my constituents and surrounding areas, and will be a vital transport interchange to relieve crowding at Chelmsford. It is also the first railway station to be built on the Great Eastern line in over 100 years!
“Unfortunately I was unable to attend the ground breaking event due to ministerial meetings, but I look forward to seeing the site progress over the next few months.”
Vicky Ford, MP for Chelmsford, said: “It is excellent news that construction of the new Beaulieu Park Railway Station is now underway. The people in the North and East of Chelmsford have waited many decades for the second station. This will mean fewer car journeys into the centre of Chelmsford and thus less traffic. The passing loop at the new station will enable fast trains to overtake stopping services and will improve the reliability of train services for commuters all across the Great Eastern Mainline.”
Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: “We need to guide Chelmsford’s growth in the most sustainable manner. With new homes, more floorspace for businesses, extra schools and neighbourhood centres among the many developments planned for North Chelmsford in the coming years, it’s vital that we invest in infrastructure. The new station will help to reduce congestion on our roads, pollution in our air and give residents more options when they want to travel.”
Adam Bryan, from the South-East Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is a major project for Chelmsford but also for the wider economy and will offer easier access to the train service for employment, business, study and leisure purposes. The passing loop will improve the service on the mainline, enabling fast trains to pass on this key transport artery through the area. We are delighted to see so many partners working together to drive forward this much needed and much anticipated transport hub.”
Martin Leach, Managing Director, Strategic Land, Countryside, said: “We are proud to have reached the next milestone in the delivery of this major project, which has been part of the long-term vision to improve the transport connections for the residents of Chelmsford. Over the last decade, Countryside (now part of the Vistry Group), along with our development partner L&Q, has been working in partnership with Essex County Council, Chelmsford City Council and Network Rail to help deliver this critical piece of infrastructure to the area. Once open, this brand-new railway station will vastly improve transport connections for Beaulieu residents and the wider Chelmsford community. We look forward to seeing the construction of the station come into fruition over the next few months.”
Adam Simpson, Director of Project Management and Development at L&Q, said: “We are very excited to be progressing with the growth and regeneration of this new community in the heart of Essex. Improving connectivity and local infrastructure is an integral part of any successful development and we are proud to help deliver the Beaulieu Park Station as part of that. We welcome the continued support and partnership work with local authorities Chelmsford City Council and Essex County Council, Network Rail, as well as Countryside, our delivery partners at Beaulieu – it is only through such like-minded organisations coming together that we can achieve real progress. We look forward to considerable works in completing the station and rail connections and hope to soon welcome Beaulieu residents on the first train from their brand new local station.”
Giles Clark, Principle Portfolio Manager for Network Rail, said: “Beaulieu Park station will be a fantastic addition to the rail network and for Chelmsford, creating an exciting new gateway for this growing community and helping to relieve local congestion.
“Network Rail is always open to new opportunities and this project is a shining example of what can be done when the rail industry works closely with local stakeholders to bring vital transport enhancements to the area.”
Al Pattison, Operations Director (transportation), J. Murphy & Sons Limited, said: “Murphy is delighted to have commenced work on the new Beaulieu Station. The team has already made fantastic progress with the enabling works and earthworks. We’re looking forward to sharing updates and engaging with the local community throughout the construction period.”