East Kent Railway (heritage)

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For other railways with similar names, see East Kent Railways (disambiguation).
East Kent Railway (heritage)
Class 419 Motor Luggage Van at Shepherdswell (EKLR)
Locale Kent, England
Kent Railways.svg
Commercial operations
Original gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preserved operations
Preserved gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Preservation history
East Kent Light Railway
Kent Coast Line to Ramsgate
Richboro Port-built but never opened
River Stour
Kent Coast Line to Dover
Sandwich Road
Roman Road
Poison Cross
Hammill Colliery
Ash Town
Eastry South
Wingham Colliery
Wingham Town
Tilmanstone Colliery Halt
Wingham (Canterbury Road)
Tilmanstone Colliery
Chatham Main Line
Guilford Colliery
to Canterbury
Golgotha Tunnel (477 yards)
Shepherds Well
Network Rail Station
Shepherdswell (EKLR) Station
Chatham Main Line to Dover

The East Kent Railway (EKR) is a short heritage railway in Kent, England. It is located at Shepherdswell station on the London to Dover Priory direct mainline. The line was constructed from 1911 to 1917 to serve a local colliery at Tilmanstone. See East Kent Light Railway for details of the original lines.[1] The line is operated by heritage diesel locomotives designed for the Southern Region. It is also home to a growing collection of heritage diesel and electric multiple units, many of which were used in service in Kent.

At Shepherdswell, there is a cafe, a large 15 acre woodland area with walking routes, a 5 inch miniature railway, a 7¼ inch woodland miniature railway (opened September last year)and a model railway and a small museum. The railway holds special events throughout the year, ranging from enthusiast events, to beer festivals and seasonal events.

Also, there lies Golgotha Tunnel (situated between Shepherdswell and Eythorne), 477 yards (436 m) long, making it the eighth longest tunnel on a UK Heritage Railway within Preservation.[citation needed]

Stopping Points[edit]

  • Shepherdswell
  • Eythorne
  • Wigmore Lane (No Station)

Rolling stock[edit]

Steam Locomotives[edit]

  • Avonside 0-6-0ST No. 2004 'St. Dunstan'. Previously Located at British Coal Snowdown. Awaiting a major restoration.

Diesel Locomotives[edit]

  • BR 0-6-0 Class 09 No. 09025. Previously located at Selhurst Depot. In service and sometimes used on passenger trains. Being repainted into BR Green as D4113. Now on the Lavender line in Sussex.
  • Fowler 0-4-0DM No. 416002 'Snowdown'. Previously located at British Coal Snowdown. (Privately Owned)
  • English Electric 0-6-0DH No. D1197 'Richborough Castle'. In use as the standby Loco on passenger trains.
  • Ruston 0-6-0DH LSSH No. AD427 'The Buffs' and 'The Royal Engineers 9th Field Squadron'. Works No. 466616. In service. {Privately owned}

Diesel Multiple Units[edit]

  • BR Class 101 nos. 53256 and 54343 (set no. 101660). In use on passenger services.
  • BR 2H no. 205001 AKA 1101. In Service, on passenger trains, and restoration to BR Blue livery. Can be seen being worked on during running days.

Electric stock[edit]

There is also a wide variety of coaches and wagons at Shepherdswell.

The original EKR[edit]

The East Kent Railway was also the name of the main constituent part of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, formed in 1859.

The EKR Today in Heritage Status[edit]

A preservation group was formed in 1985 to preserve part of the abandoned line as far as the old quarry at Tilmanstone. By 1989 a majority of the lineside vegetation had been cleared and by 1995 the first heritage train was run.

Following the reopening of the railway, a new platform was constructed on the site of the former equivalent at Eythorne. The former signalbox from Selling was moved to the northern end of the platform following its closure in the 1990s.

The South Eastern Locomotive Group (SELG) was based at the EKR until 2004 when they transferred their locomotives and party to the Spa Valley Railway.

The railway also plays host to other residing groups, including the Southern Electric Group , EPB Preservation Group, EKR Trolleybus Group and the 427 Group.

Class 412, no. 2325, departing London Waterloo on 15 August 2003. This unit was retired by South West Trains later in 2003, and was preserved on the East Kent Railway in 2004. There is currently work being done to restore the unit to its original condition.
Unit 205 101 before preservation, seen at London Bridge


  1. ^ See also, Beddall, Matthew, "The East Kent Light Railway" (1998)(ISBN 0953295206).

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°11′50″N 1°15′8″E / 51.19722°N 1.25222°E / 51.19722; 1.25222