Maidstone West railway station

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Maidstone West National Rail
Maidstone West
Location
Place Maidstone
Local authority Maidstone
Grid reference TQ755553
Operations
Station code MDW
Managed by Southeastern
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2004/05  1.191 million
2005/06 Increase 1.291 million
2006/07 Decrease 0.415 million
2007/08 Increase 0.551 million
2008/09 Increase 0.564 million
2009/10 Decrease 0.372 million
2010/11 Increase 0.392 million
2011/12 Increase 0.496 million
2012/13 Increase 0.834 million
History
25 September 1844 Opened (Terminus)
18 June 1856 Through station opened
National RailUK railway stations
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Maidstone West from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
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Maidstone West railway station in 1958

Maidstone West railway station is one of three railway stations which serve the town centre of Maidstone, the county town of Kent, England.

It lies approximately halfway along the Medway Valley Line 9.99 mi (16.08 km) from Paddock Wood; 11 mi (18 km) from Strood) and train services are provided by Southeastern.

History[edit]

Due largely to opposition from the town's merchants, and the fear expressed by the then Mayor that Maidstone will be ruined as a commercial town,[1] the town was bypassed when the South Eastern Main Line opened by the South Eastern Railway (SER) in 1842. The line ran approximately eight miles to the south, with the nearest station being at Maidstone Road (later renamed Paddock Wood). On 25 September 1844, a branch line was opened from Paddock Wood to Maidstone West. This was extended further up the Medway Valley to the North Kent Line at Strood on 18 June 1856. The main station building is believed to date from this time.[2]

Maidstone West has a signal box — located at the southern end of the station — which is used as the point at which the mileage measurements and the "Up" and "Down" directions to London change.[3] South of the signal box, the distance from London is measured via Paddock Wood, and the Up (towards London) direction is southbound. From the signal box northwards, however, mileages are measured via Strood and the northbound line is the Up direction.[4] On 3 August 1944, the signal box was severely damaged when a doodlebug landed nearby. Seven people were killed, as well as two dray horses belonging to Maidstone brewers Fremlins. The signalbox was repaired and returned to service.[5]

Just south of Maidstone West was a station at Tovil (TQ 752 549). Passenger services ceased on 15 March 1943. A short line ran on a bridge across the River Medway to a goods station at Tovil Goods (TQ 754 545) until 3 October 1977, from which point the branch line closed completely.[6]

Services[edit]

The typical off-peak service from the station is one train per hour to Paddock Wood and Tonbridge, and two trains an hour to Strood. Connections to London are available from any of these three stations.

Four trains each way per day using Class 395 Javelin units operate between Maidstone West and St Pancras via Strood and Gravesend.[7]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Maidstone Barracks   Southeastern
Medway Valley Line
  East Farleigh
Strood   Southeastern
High Speed 1 (Peak only)
  Terminus
Disused railways
Terminus   Headcorn & Maidstone Junction Light Railway   Tovil Goods

See also[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ J M Russell:The History of Maidstone published by John Hallewell Publications, 1978 (reprint of 1st Ed. 1881)
  2. ^ Body, Geoffrey. PSL Field Guide – Railways of the Southern Region (1984), page 128. Patrick Stephens Ltd, Cambridge. ISBN 0-85059-664-5
  3. ^ Marsden, Colin J. Route Recognition: 1 — Southern Region (1985), pages 124-125. Ian Allan Ltd, Shepperton. ISBN 0-7110-1553-8
  4. ^ Body, page 128.
  5. ^ Angela Cole (30 July 2010). "Deadly doodlebug attack on signal box:a first-hand account". Kent Messenger. p. p38. 
  6. ^ Body, page 128
  7. ^ "High-speed trains start from Maidstone". Kent Messenger Group. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°16′14.50″N 0°30′56.50″E / 51.2706944°N 0.5156944°E / 51.2706944; 0.5156944