John Speller's Web Pages Maidstone & Ashford Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
Maidstone & Ashford Railway (LC&DR) Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
The Maidstone & Ashford Railway was incorporated by Act of 12th August 1880, for the construction and maintenance of a railway, about 19 miles in length, from Maidstone to Ashford, both in the County of Kent. Period for completion of works, 3 years. Working and traffic arrangements with the London, Chatham, and Dover, and certain running and other powers to the South Eastern. Capital, 460,000 in 10 shares. Borrowing powers, 150,000.

By an Act of 27 June 1881, powers were given to the London, Chatham, and Dover to work, and, under certain conditions, subsequently acquire the undertaking, the Chatham in the meantime receiving the whole revenues, subject to the payment of a guaranteed dividend on the cost of the undertaking at the rate of 4 per cent, per annum; also to appoint three of the directors.

No. of Directors. Maximum, 4; minimum, 3; quorum, 3 and 2. Qualififation, 40 shares.

The Chairman was James Staats Forbes (1823-1904) who was also Chairman of the London, Chatham & Dover Railway, the Secretary was John Morgan and the Engineer George Hopkins. The line opened on 1 July 1884 and ran from Maidstone East to the Chatham line's Ashford terminus, just west of the South Eastern station. With the creation of the SE&CR in 1899 the Chatham station was closed and all trains ran into the South Eastern station.

The line from London Victoria to Maidstone East was electrified by the Southern Railway in 1939, and the Maidstone East to Ashford line was electrified by British Railways in 1961.

A video of an Wainwright ex-SECR Class "J" 0-6-4T -- Wainwright's last design, and the first on the SECR with a Belpaire firebox -- at Maidstone East in 1947 may be viewed here.

A 2011 video of the "Sussex Belle" at Harrietsham and Lenham may be viewed here.
Map of the Maidstone & Ashford Railway
Maidstone East station in 1906 showing Wainwright Class "D" 4-4-0 No. 477 and Kirtley Class "M-1" 4-4-0 No. 476
A British Railways Standard "4-MT" 2-6-4T pulls into Bearsted & Thurnham station with a local passenger train on 3 March 1961, shortly before the completion of the electrification scheme. Image Copyright Ben Brooksbank and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Charing station on the Maidstone East to Ashford line, 28 May 2009. Image Copyright David Anstiss and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
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