John Speller's Web Pages Canterbury & Whitstable Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
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The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway was the Britain's second public railway. Its 2-2-0 locomotive, built by Robert Stephenson in 1829, and now happily preserved, was the locomotive built immediately following Stephenson's "Rocket." The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway was chartered by an Act of Parliament on 10 June 1825 and opened for traffic on 3 May 1830. The engineer was nominally George Stephenson, though in practice most of the work was deputed to his assistant John Dixon. The major engineering work was the Tyler Hill Tunnel, which had the distinction of being the world's first railway tunnel. It was visited by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1835 preparatory to drawing up the plans for Box Tunnel. The two steepest gradients on the line were originally cable inclines worked by stationary engines, but locomotive power was introduced throughout after the South Eastern Railway took over the line in 1844. The line became part of the Southern Railway in 1923. Passenger service was withdrawn on 1 January 1931, followed by the withdrawal of goods traffic on 1 March 1953. The trackbed is now a footpath.
Mao of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
The opening of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway, 3 May 1830. 2-2-0 locomotive "Invicta"
"Invicta" was on display for many years in the Dane John Gardens, Canterbury, where I first saw it in 1968. I could not believe that people would leave such a precious relic exposed to the elements. It is now happily restored and housed indoors out of the rain in the Canterbury Museum. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
Another view of the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway on opening day, looking toward Canterbury Cathedral
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