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No train has passed in or out of Maldon for more than 54 years.
The last freight train left the old railway station in April 1966 and the line was completely removed from the town three years later.
But, after a fresh bid was launched by MP John Whittingdale and Maldon District Council, the return of the railway to Maldon is now one step closer.
The government announced their £500m Restoring Your Railway Fund earlier this year in which towns who had lost their previous railway in the 1962 Beeching Report could apply to have it restored.
But the matter has left residents torn over the potential impact of a new railway line on the town.
The history of the Maldon railwayFrom the mid 19th century, Maldon had active goods and passenger services running in and out of the town by rail.
The line from Maldon East station ran through Heybridge, Langford and Wickham Bishops towards Witham and was in operation until the early 1960s when, despite public objection, it was closed to passenger traffic in 1964.
The 'Beeching axe' was designed to remove unprofitable lines, and Maldon sadly fell into that category.
Goods services continued to run until 1966 when they too ceased operation, and the tracks were removed from the town by 1969.
But despite the removal of the railway line itself, the original Maldon East station building still stands in all its glory.
The listed building now backs onto the Blackwater Retail Park in Fullbridge and was restored during the 1970s after being allowed to sit derelict for a number of years.
Now, after more than 50 years, it could soon see the return of the railway line that once rain through it.
'Tourists, commuting and putting Maldon on the map'
The old station building backs onto the new Blackwater Retail ParkFollowing the news of the bid, which has also been supported by Witham MP Priti Patel and Essex County Council, some Maldon residents have shared their delight at the possibility of a new railway line in the town.
Tracey de Gregorio commented: "There is a station in Hatfield Peverel and it has stayed a village. I am long since retired but my children and grandchildren would benefit from the commute from Maldon.
"Fewer cars on the road has to benefit the environment. If you want people to use public transport then you have to provide it."
And it seems the possibility of an additional method of transport for commuters would be a key benefit should the bid be successful.
Vivian Cooke said: "Any way the residents of ever-growing Maldon and Heybridge can get out is a plus.
"Hatfield Peverel and Danbury cannot cope with the through traffic. I fear the railway line however is too long gone to ever be reinstated."
Sabrina Elizabeth Chelsea Shales added: "As someone in their 20s who wants to work in London but would like to remain a resident of Maldon, this would be a massive benefit.
This article first appeared on railwaygricer.com
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