WALKERS braved freezing temperatures to walk the line in support of a community project.

Stephen Metcalfe, MP for East Thurrock, strolled the entirety of the Corringham Light Railway in support of the project.

The Corringham Light Railway was the first independently-run railway line within 25 miles of London, running from 1901 to 1952.

The newly-launched project aims to transform the old railway line into a free heritage walk and cycle track, allowing visitors to make the most of the historic pathway and to preserve an important part of local history.

Mr Metcalfe was joined by around 20 other walkers who also hope that lottery funding will enable them to use the track bed as a nature and local history area for children.

He said: “Despite the bracing temperatures, I thoroughly enjoyed walking the line of the Corringham Light Railway.

“It is a great project and I think it would be extremely beneficial for the area to have a path that walkers and cyclists can enjoy.”

The process, however, may not be a straightforward one. The land officially forms part of the land owned by the Coryton Oil Refinery and therefore falls under PricewaterhouseCoopers’ administration package, meaning the future ownership of the land is uncertain.

Mr Metcalfe added: “The Corringham Light Railway has potential to be a great feature of Thurrock and if the practical problem of land ownership under PwC can be overcome, I see no reason why the old track bed cannot have a future as part of our industrial heritage.”