Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,656 pages of information and 235,472 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

East Kent Light Railway

From Graces Guide

The East Kent Light Railway was part of the Holman Fred Stephens group of railways and he was the engineer from its inception, subsequently becoming director and manager.

The line ran from Shepherdswell to Wingham (Canterbury Road) Station with a branch from Eastry (Poison Cross) to Port Richborough.

It was born in great optimism as the only outcome of numerous plans for railways and collieries in the newly discovered Kent coalfield in the early 20th century. Conceived to carry coal it soon reverted to a truly rural railway with a heavy coal flow for a few miles at one end as only one of the many pits it was laid out to serve ever developed into a working colliery.

Opened to freight traffic in 1911 to serve the East Kent Coalfields, passenger services were introduced in 1916. Final Passenger services ran on October 30 1948 following Rail Nationalisation with freight services closed over the line north of Tilmanstone Colliery in 1951.

Plans were developed in the 1930s to extend the line to Deal, Birchington and to connect with the SER Mainline at Chislet Colliery. Although some earthworks were created no rails were ever laid and the line is now closed. No earthworks now exist although a few bridges across drainage channels are now in use as farm trackways.

Services ebbed away with the final passenger trains running on October 30 1948 and unsuccessful collieries closed, with progressive closures back to Tilmanstone Colliery over the following 3 years. Track removal north of Eythorne occurred in May 1954. The final section of line shut with the closure of Tilmanstone colliery in 1986.

Now the basis for a preserved railway based at Station Road, Shepherdswell, Kent, CT15 7PD. For more detail see the website.


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