John Speller's Web Pages East Kent Light Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Other Railways
East Kent Light Railway
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The East Kent Light Railway was authorized in 1911 and constructed piecemeal between then and 1916. It was engineered by Colonel H. F. Stephens, who managed the line after its completion. The line was built largely to serve the Kent Coalfield, which was being developed at the time. There was a line from Shepherds Well on the LC&DR main line to Richborough on the Kent coast. A branch ran from Eastry to Wingham Colliery, and in 1920 this was extended to Wingham Town and in 1925 to Canterbury Road about 5 miles east of Canterbury East. It was intended to extend the line westwards and link up with the LC&DR at Hackington Junction near Canterbury East, and this extension was authorized in 1920 and reauthorized in 1931, but never accomplished. There was also a plan to link with the South Eastern line at Deal, but this also fell by the wayside. The major engineering work on the line was the Golgotha Tunnel at the beginning of the line between Shepherds Well and Eythorne. Following nationalization passenger service ceased on 30 October 1948, followed by cessation of goods service on the Eastry to Canterbury Road on 25 July 1950 and north of Eythorne on 1 March 1951. The line between Titmanstone Colliery and Shepherds Well remained open for coal traffic until 1959. The East Kent Railway Society has reopened the portion of the line between Shepherds Well and Eythorne and is running it as a heritage line.
Map of the East Kent Light Railway and connections
Opening of the East Kent Light Railway
The East Kent Light Railway's station at Shepherds Well. The spur to the LC&DR station can be seen running off to the right
A typical mixed train on the East Kent Light Railway
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