John Speller's Web Pages Lydd Railway (SER)

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
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The Lydd Railway Company was incorporated by an Act of 8 April 1881, for the construction and maintenance of a railway from Appledore on the South Easton Railway to Lydd in the county of Kent. The line was to be worked by the South Eastern Railway and Sir Edward Watkin's son, Alfred M. Watkin, was one of the original directors. The line was to be worked by the South Eastern Railway. The Capital was 75,000 in 10 shares, with authorization for the company to borrow up to an additional 25,000. The railway was completed and opened to Lydd on 5 December 1881. The line from Appledore to Lydd was just over 7 miles long, with an extension to Dungeness just under four miles long. An additional Act of 1882 authorized another branch, also just under four miles long, from Lydd to New Romney, together with a shortcut from Headcorn to Appledore to provide a direct route from London. Only the New Romney branch was built, however. The same train operated the Lydd to Dungeness and Lydd to New Romney branches. The stations on these branches were unstaffed and a porter traveled on the train to issue tickets. It was originally to remove all the shingle from the beach for use as ballast, and then to let in the sea and make a deep water port at Dungeness, which would have provided an important new route to Boulogne and elsewhere on the Continent. This was never done. There was a connection with the Lydd Military Railway which fed a considerable military traffic to the line, particularly during World War I. The opening of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in 1927 brought an increased traffic to the New Romney branch and this prompted the Southern Railway to realign the branch nearer the sea and add additional halts at Lydd-on-Sea and Greatstone-on-Sea in 1937, at which time Lydd was renamed Lydd Town. The line closed to passenger traffic on under the Beeching Axe on 6 March 1967, but remains open for goods traffic, including servicing the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station.
Map of the Lydd Railway and Connections
Unloading horses in 1909 in connection with the Royal Artillery's facility at Lydd
Dungeness station and lighthouse in 1905
Dungeness station shortly after the Grouping of 1923. Branch train behind an ex-SE&CR Wainwright "H" Class 0-4-4 tank
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