John Speller's Web Pages Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - SE&CR
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The independent Sevenoaks Railway received its Act of Parliament on 1 August 1859 to build a 9-mile branchline from Swanley on the London, Chatham & Dover Railway to a station in Sevenoaks which took its name from the nearby Bat & Ball Inn. The line opened to traffic on 2 June 1862 and was worked by the LC&DR. Six weeks later, on 17 July 1862, the company was granted powers to build an extension from Otford to Maidstone East on the LC&DR's Ashford line, and the name of the company was changed to the Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway. The Otley to Maidstone line opened on 1 June 1874. Meanwhile, on 1 August 1869, a connection had been made with the South Eastern Railway main line at Sevenoaks. This was part of an unsuccessful attempt to persuade the SER to use their line for main line traffic. The Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway was vested in the London, Chatham & Dover company on 21 July 1879. The line was electrified on the 750V DC third rail system in 1961 and continues to be an important suburban line in the Greater London area.
Map of the Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway and connections. The name "Tunbridge" was changed to "Tonbridge" in 1870 to avoid confusion with the nearby town of Tunbridge Wells
Wainwright "P" Class 0-6-0T with a local train at Otford shortly before the Grouping. This locomotive is now happily preserved on the Bluebell Railway
Wainwight's last locomotive design was the large 0-6-4 Class "J" passenger tank, introduced in 1913, and ahead of its time for a tank angine in being superheated. These locomotives were extensively used on the Sevenoaks, Maidstone & Tunbridge Railway during the last years of steam. Here No. 1599 (originally No. 614) is shown near Otford with a St. Mary Cray to Ashford local train
The down side of Bat & Ball station, Sevenoaks, on 16 July 2007. Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
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