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Make memories in the beautiful, vibrant and creative county that is Essex. Take a train to Essex for first class leisure and sports facilities, historic buildings and heritage sites, coastal retreats, and first-class shopping, ranging from city shopping complexes to out-of-town super malls. Don't forget the lively nightlife either!

Who runs trains in Essex?

The main train companies operating in Essex are:

You can travel with Greater Anglia from London Liverpool Street to Chelmsford in approximately 35m. This train company also covers the main commuter and leisure routes from London to Colchester, with branch lines connecting to destinations including Harwich, Tilbury, Braintree, Harlow Town, Southminster and more. Finally, Greater Anglia trains also pass into Essex on lines running from Norwich, Suffolk and Hertfordshire.

Other popular routes from London to Essex are from London Fenchurch Street to Southend Central (45m), London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness (1h 17m) and London Fenchurch Street to Grays (37m), which are all served by c2c.

TfL Rail services mainly cover the route from London Liverpool Street to Shenfield (33m), calling at Stratford, Maryland, Forest Gate, Manor Park, Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes, Chadwell Heath, Romford, Gidea Park, Harold Wood, and Brentwood.

Finally, London Overground trains connect Upminster to Romford in just 9m, calling at Emerson Park.

No matter where you’re travelling to Essex from, our handy Journey Planner can get you there!

London to Essex by train

Stansted Express, a sub-brand of Greater Anglia, operates the service from Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport, which also calls at Tottenham Hale – ideal if you want to go plane spotting, visit attractions in the local area or pick up some friends from the airport. Greater Anglia's main hub is London Liverpool Street, and from there you can travel up to Harlow Town on the Stansted Airport or King's Lynn line, or across to Southend Victoria via Shenfield.

The other main route is from Liverpool Street to Norwich, with Essex stops including Colchester, Chelmsford and Romford. Check out our route map page to view all branch connections, including Southminster, Walton-on-the-Naze, Harwich Town, Clacton-on-Sea and Braintree.

c2c is the other train operator in the east covering Essex from London. The trains from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness leave London on two different tracks. One goes via Upminster and Basildon, the other via Grays, Tilbury Town and Stanford-le-Hope, before joining at Pitsea and continuing. Stops between Pitsea and Shoeburyness are Benfleet, Leigh-on-Sea, Chalkwell, Westcliff, Southend Central, Southend East and Thorpe Bay.

Five Popular Essex Destinations & Attractions

Essex is home to the longest pleasure pier in the world (Southend-on-Sea), historic castles, theme parks, country parks, museums, craft centres and a vibrant events programme to keep all ages entertained. A visit here could involve coast or countryside, shopping or professional theatre shows, day trips to colourful festivals and vibrant community events, or a thrilling ride on a roller coaster overlooking the sea. Essex delivers it all, and plenty of hidden gems are just waiting to be uncovered too.

Colchester

Colchester’s railway station is centrally located and close to some of the town's main attractions. Trains to Essex stop near the Norman Keep of Colchester Castle, which also has a museum, and Colchester Park, the site of many landscaped gardens and local festivals.

Chelmsford

Chelmsford railway station is centrally located and close to a leisure centre, historic cathedral, and a variety of dining options and shops. A taxi ride brings you to Hylands Estate, with its beautiful gardens, play areas, art studios, heavy horse experience days and an annual events programme. Chelmsford also has a lively nightlife scene if you're looking to party it up TOWIE-style.

Southend-on-Sea

Southend Victoria railway station is close to Southend's main shopping district, while Southend Central station is closer to the seafront, the world's longest pleasure pier, Cliffs Pavilion theatre, and the thrills of Adventure Island theme park. Like Chelmsford, the nightlife scene in Southend can also be quite exciting!

Clacton-on-Sea

Two theatres, seafront gardens and amusements, sea fishing off the pier, and events that include beer festivals and fireworks are just some attractions on offer in Clacton-on-Sea. Local bus services are available to help you explore.

Braintree

From crazy golf at Blake House Craft Centre and outlet shopping at Freeport to textile design history at Warner Textile Archive, attractions in Braintree run the gamut. Don't forget to take a taxi from Braintree station to Great Notley Country Park, home to a Sky Ropes course, birdwatching and an exciting play trail.

Essex Train Stations

To make things easy for you, we’ve got a list of all the train stations in Essex. Please refer to individual pages for details of facilities at each train station and a location map. Train operator details and timetables/departure information are also available to help you plan your journey and don't forget you can book trains to Essex in advance online.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the main train station in Essex?

The main train station in Essex is Colchester railway station. Check out live arrivals and station facilities for Colchester railway station.

Which train companies run trains to Essex?

The primary operator of trains to Essex is Greater Anglia.

How do I find cheap tickets to Essex?

It's easy to bag cheap train tickets to Essex. We'd recommend using a Railcard, buying your ticket in advance or travelling during Off-Peak hours if you can. Read our cheap train tickets guide to find out more.

Are trains to Essex running?

There are frequent daily services to Essex, although there may be fewer services on weekends and bank holidays. Check our live train times for up-to-date information on trains to Essex.

Average savings on fares booked prior to day of travel vs full price fares on day of travel in the UK. Subject to availability. Excludes coach.

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