John Speller's Web Pages South Eastern Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
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The South-Eastern & Dover Railway was incorporated by Act of Parliament in 1836 to build a line from London Bridge station in London to Folkestone and Dover via Redhill, Tonbridge, Maidstone and Ashford. At the insistence of Parliament the line had perforce to follow a rather tortuous route sharing the London & Croydon Railway's line between London and Croydon and the Brighton Railway's line between Croydon and Redhill. The system later amassed additional lines, including the preexisting London & Greenwich and Canterbury & Whitstable Railways, and lines to Canterbury, Ramsgate, Hastings and Reading. After 1899 the South Eastern and London, Chatham & Dover Railways were run together as the South Eastern & Chatham Railways Joint Committee.

The South Eastern Railway's locomotive works was moved to Ashford in the 1840s. The Locomotive Superintendents were: James L' Anson Cudworth (1846-1876), A. M. Watkin (1876), Richard Mansell (1877-1878) and James Stirling (1878-1898).
Map of the South Eastern Railway. Enlarge
Third-class travel on the South Eastern Railway, c. 1840, from the cover of a contemporary piano piece, "The Excursion Train Gallop."
On 17 June 1865 an express ran off a section of track that was being relaid over Staplehurst Viaduct. 10 passengers were killed and 49 injured. The accident is noteworthy for the fact that Charles Dickens was a passenger on the train
London Bridge station, terminus of the South Eastern Railway, in 1853
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