Basildon railway station opened on Monday 25th November
1974 after a long campaign begun in the 1950s. There were initial concerns that British Rail
might close either Laindon or Pitsea but this proved unfounded.
The original proposed
site was further east on land between Nether Priors and the junction of Clay Hill Road and Southernhay, which at that time was
undeveloped. In January 1960 a signboard - clearly visible from the railway - with the words "Basildon New Town - Site Acquired
for Future Development" was erected by Basildon Development Corporation at this site. This stood there until its removal in 1963
when plans fell into doubt.
At the time of opening the booking office was to the left of the front entrance,
with the rear entrance opening out onto a covered walkway to Station House.
To the left of
the rear entrance stood a small shop run by John Menzies. During modernisation in the 1990s the
booking office was re-sited directly opposite the main entrance and the rear entrance was
bricked up. At the same time the station shop was moved to the left of the front entrance.
Access to the platforms is by separate stairways to the right and left of the ticket
gates. This access area was widened during refurbishment with turnstiles installed. Each of
the two platforms has a waiting room and a lift for the disabled. The waiting rooms had a door for
access but these were later removed and both are now 'open'.
A feature of the covered area of each platform are thirty four
small squared windows (seventeen per platform) overlooking Station Way. These were later covered - from the outside - behind a
large Network South-East hoarding board until the early 2000s, when a facelift to the front of the station incorporating a new
covered entrance was completed. They were then hidden behind a new blue and pink board bearing the name C2C Basildon. This
has since been removed and the window frames are visible again from the outside, though the glass
area is covered to match the existing colour of the bridge section exterior.
The main contractor involved in its
construction was French.
From its completion in March 1975 through to 1977 Station House
had remained unoccupied. When the Ford Motor Company took over occupation
they had it renamed Trafford House, which it remains to this day.