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    Promoting the use of rail services in North East Essex

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    Lobbying appropriate bodies for enhancements to rail transportation ....

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    .... and an active member of the Essex Rail Users' Federation (ERUF)

Welcome to ONTRACK


ONTRACK Rail Users’ Association, together with its associated Alresford Rail User Group, is a non-political organisation that represents the interests of passengers using the lines between Colchester, Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze – the “Sunshine Coast Line”.

To further these interests, ONTRACK meets regularly with:

  • the local train operating company management
  • Network Rail
  • local authority public transport officials, and
  • Passenger Focus

In addition, ONTRACK is a stakeholder in the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership and a corporate member of Railfuture.

Enhancements ONTRACK is keen to see

ONTRACK is keen to see the following service enhancements:


  • Sunday services between Walton-on-the-Naze and Colchester Town (with connections at Thorpe-le-Soken to/from Clacton-on-Sea)
  • improved late evening services, particularly to/from Walton-on-the-Naze
  • increased train service frequency, ideally half-hourly at all stations
  • a general reduction in journey times
  • re-instatement of regular fast direct train services to/from London through to both Walton and Clacton, and
  • enhanced facilities on train and on station in respect of toilets, catering and disabled access

ONTRACK Activities

Our key activities are listed here. ONTRACK:

  • is an active member of the Essex Rail Users’ Federation (ERUF)
  • lobbies appropriate bodies for enhancements to rail and other forms of public transport
  • promotes the use of rail services

Older News – ONTRACK RUA welcomes the appointment of Abellio

ONTRACK RUA welcomes the appointment of Abellio (a subsidiary of Dutch Railways) which was one of three strong contenders for the short term interim Greater Anglia Franchise; this franchise was previously operated by National Express East Anglia (NXEA) and stretches across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

However, the process for the new longer term Greater Anglia franchise had to be stopped until the whole rail franchise process had been rejigged to address the short comings raised by aborted West Coast Main Line Franchise exercise.  The short term Greater Anglia Franchise therefore has had to be extended for a further interim period as a result.  This had the unplanned consequence of delaying rolling stock upgrades, overhaul, refurbishment, and replacement.

To this end ONTRACK has been working with local County and District Councillors to ensure the Dept. for Transport new Bid Specification for the new long term franchise for which an Invitation to Tender will be issued early 2015 reflects the changes needed to improve local services. Part of this process has been the undertaking of a Rail Passenger Headcount Census at the various stations. The exercise carried out at Frinton at the end of November 2013 showed that actual usage greatly exceed the ORR "estimates" by circa 25%. Another headcount census has just been undertaken in June in respect of Thorpe le Soken Station one of the busiest interchange points in East Anglia (see ONTRACK report on this website).

The ANNUAL AGM in MAY 2014 was turned into a surgery/ debate with positive feedback from our MP and all who attended.

For more Ontrack news and local rail information, check out our interactive blog.