Maidstone Line

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Maidstone Line
Kent Railways.svg
The Maidstone Line, shown with other railway lines in Kent.
Overview
Type Suburban rail, Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Kent
South East England
Operation
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Southeastern
Technical
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Maidstone East Line (Swanley to Ashford)
Swanley
Chatham Main Line
A20
18m 60ch
M25
Eynsford Tunnel (828 yards)
19m 39ch
Lullingstone (never opened)
Eynsford Viaduct
River Darent
20m 32ch
Eynsford
22m 52ch
Shoreham
24m 06ch
Otford
24m 53ch
M26
Bat & Ball Line
Bat & Ball
SEML (To London)
Sevenoaks
SEMLTo Tunbridge Wells
26m 79ch
Kemsing
29m 52ch
Borough Green & Wrotham
34m 61ch
West Malling
35m 64ch
East Malling
37m 43ch
Barming
Medway Valley Line
River Medway
39m 76ch
Maidstone East
Wheeler Street Tunnel (358 yds)
42m 59ch
Bearsted
M20
High Speed 1
45m 02ch
Hollingbourne
47m 36ch
Harrietsham
49m 11ch
Lenham
53m 11ch
Charing
M20
55m 61ch
Hothfield Halt (closed 1959)
High Speed 1
SEML
59m 19ch
Ashford International
High Speed 1
Ashford to Ramsgate
(via Canterbury West) line
Marshlink Line
SEML

The Maidstone Line[1][2] diverges from the Chatham Main Line at Swanley Junction and proceeds down the Darenth valley to Otford junction[3] (where the Bat & Ball line[3] divides towards Sevenoaks). It continues via Borough Green & Wrotham and Maidstone East to Ashford, where it joins the South Eastern Main Line.[4]

History[edit]

The line was built by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway from their first line (the Chatham Main Line). Upon the creation of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway the original Ashford terminus was closed in 1899 and services diverted to the South Eastern Railway's Ashford station. The line was electrified in 1939 (750V DC third rail) to Maidstone East by the Southern Railway prior to World War Two. Electrification between Maidstone East and Ashford was completed in 1961 under the BR 1955 Modernisation Plan.

Infrastructure[edit]

Traction current is supplied at 750 volts DC via the Third Rail. The supply for this is overseen by Paddock Wood Electrical Control Room.[3] Signalling is Track Circuit Block with multple aspect colour light signals throughout, controlled by Ashford IECC.[3] The line is double track throughout.

Services[edit]

Services on the line are run by Southeastern. Services run to London Victoria and Ashford, with some peak services to Bedford via London Blackfriars, which are run as a joint service with First Capital Connect.

Due to its route between the two main lines through Kent (the South Eastern Main Line and the Chatham Main Line), the line has comparatively infrequent services and longer journey times.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Network Rail (Apr 2001). Southern Appendix. Module SO. p. 1/12. A0260A03.  Retrieved 2012-01-12
  2. ^ Quail Map 5 - England South & London Underground [pages 6,7 & 11A ] February 1998 (Retrieved 2012-01-12)
  3. ^ a b c d Network Rail (Apr 2001). Southern Appendix. Module SO. p. 1/64. A0260A03.  Retrieved 2012-01-12
  4. ^ Network Rail (Apr 2001). Southern Appendix. Module SO. p. 1/54. A0260A03.  Retrieved 2012-01-12
  • Yonge, John (October 1994). Gerald Jacobs, ed. Railway Track Diagrams - Volume 5 England, South and London Underground (1st ed.). Exeter: Quail Map Co. ISBN 1-8983-1907-3. 

Coordinates: 51°16′40″N 0°31′22″E / 51.2778°N 0.5228°E / 51.2778; 0.5228