Burmarsh Road railway station
A freight train for New Romney passes the platforms
|16 July 1927||Opened|
|1950||closed for regular service|
|1977||reopened for schoolchildrens trains|
|2010||reopened for selected service trains|
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Officially opened on 16 July 1927, this station was then called Burmarsh for East Dymchurch and was equipped with two platforms, a booking office, a waiting room, and possibly a signal box (historical accounts vary on this last point, most suggesting the booking office housed a lever frame controlling just two signals). Later the station name was changed to Dymchurch Bay. Traffic levels fell sharply after the Second World War, and the station was eventually reduced in status to a halt and again renamed as Burmarsh Road Halt. It closed in 1948, re-opened in 1950, but finally closed again at the end of that same year, when the station buildings were demolished. The roof of the booking office was left in situ, on pillars (with the walls removed), to form a waiting shelter in the event of re-opening, but this structure was also demolished a few years later. However, the station was again re-opened on 7 September 1977 as the starting point of the school train service run for Kent County Council, transporting local children to Southlands Comprehensive School in New Romney. Declining use meant that the school train last ran on 24 July 2015.
Since that time Burmarsh Road station has found a new lease of life. Officially it was listed on the Railway's ticket-issuing computer systems as a station (not a halt) until 2010, in which year it was officially re-designated (again) as "Burmarsh Road Halt". From 1977 to 2009 the only trains to call here were the school service trains, and private charter trains, although as the general public are permitted to travel on the school train service on certain off-season days of the year, it was still possible to board trains, and alight from them, at this station. From 2010 however certain normal service trains are once again timetabled to stop at Burmarsh Road, in conjunction with open days and special events at the nearby Haguelands Alpaca Farm, which is served by the station. Burmarsh Road appeared again on the railway's 2010 public timetable for the first time since 1950.
Today there are no surviving station buildings, although in November 2007 Burmarsh Road saw its first fabric upgrade since re-opening in 1977, when the 'down' platform (which had become very uneven) was completely resurfaced. There are still two platforms, and the 'up' platform remains very much in need of similar resurfacing. There are electrical cabinets and control panels installed at the station, for operation of the lights and barriers of Burmarsh Road level crossing, together with closed circuit television cameras and recording equipment. The only other significant structure is a memorial to a train driver killed here in 2003 (see below).
Following the 2007 facilities upgrade, with platform resurfacing, the railway's General Manager has now confirmed press speculation that Burmarsh Road station may see further expansion in coming years. If funding is secured for the building of a multiple-unit shuttle train, a regular passenger service may resume.
Burmarsh Road station was the site of a fatal accident in August 2003, in which engine driver Kevin Crouch lost his life. A local woman whose car had failed to stop for flashing level crossing lights was later convicted on a charge of careless driving.
- "Boat trains, but no more school trains...". Narrow Gauge World (106). Atlantic Publishers Ltd. September 2015.
- See report in Kentish Express newspaper.
|Preceding station||Heritage railways||Following station|