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Newmarket and Chesterford Railway
Ipswich to Ely Line
Newmarket Warren Hill (1885-c. 1945)
Warren Hill Tunnel
Newmarket Old (Low & High Level)
1879-c1945 / 1848-1967
Newmarket New (opened 1902)
B1061 level crossing
Dullingham (opened 1848)
Brinkley Road level crossing
Six Mile Bottom (1848-1967)
A1304 level crossing
Ipswich to Ely Line to Cambridge
Balsham Road (1848-51)
Abington (1848-51)
Bourne Bridge (1848-51)
West Anglia Main Line to Cambridge
Great Chesterford
West Anglia Main Line to London Liverpool Street

The Newmarket and Chesterford Railway Company was an early railway company that built the first rail connection to Newmarket. Although only around 15 miles (24 km) long the line ran through three counties, the termini being in Essex (Great Chesterford) and Suffolk (Newmarket) and all intermediate stations being in Cambridgeshire.


The line was opened in 1848 and was commonly known as the "Newmarket Railway". It branched off the London–Cambridge line at Great Chesterford and ran about 15 miles (24 km) north east to a terminus in Newmarket, with intermediate stations at Bourne Bridge (about 800 yards (730 m) west of Little Abington), Abington, Balsham Road (about 2 miles (3 km) south east of Fulbourn) and Six Mile Bottom.

Financial difficulties[edit]

Having completed this section, the Company planned a branch to Cambridge, but ran into serious financial difficulties and significant opposition from the Eastern Counties Railway. In 1850 all traffic ceased and the company went into administration.[1] The Bankruptcy Commissioner, Mr Cecil Fane, saw that the company could be revived with imaginative leadership and took control; he suggested that one track of the double track line from Six Mile Bottom to Chesterford should be lifted and used to create the intended link to Cambridge.


By the time this was done it was realised that the Chesterford link would never be profitable, so the line was closed forever in 1851.[1] This was one of the first railway closures in British history. The Newmarket and Chesterford Railway Company was bought by the Eastern Counties Railway in the mid-1850s.[2]


The former Bourne bridge station is believed to have been partly incorporated into a public house close to Pampisford station.

The Newmarket terminus was replaced several times as new lines developed, its latest site being built in 1902. The "Old Station" was used for goods until 1967 and demolished in 1980.[2] One platform of the "New station", the North side station buildings, and the associated forecourt, still exist but the buildings and forecourt are now commercial premises.

Photographs of Balsham Road and Bourne Bridge stations exist in the Rokeby collection at the English Heritage Archive, Swindon.


  1. ^ a b Jeffery, Peter. "Dullingham Yesterdays". Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Farrant, David; Catford, Nick (23 June 2005). "Newmarket (1st Station)". Subterannea Britannica. Retrieved 4 April 2009. 
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