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is a secondary railway line in Hastings Line Kent and East Sussex, England, linking Hastings with the main town of Tunbridge Wells, and from there into London via Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. Although the line primarily carries passengers, a gypsum mine served by the railway is a source of freight traffic. Passenger trains on the line are operated by Southeastern. The railway was built by the South Eastern Railway in the early 1850s across the difficult terrain of the High Weald. Supervision was lax, and contractors skimped on the lining of the tunnels, causing deficiencies that showed up after the railway had opened. Rectifications included a restricted loading gauge along the line, requiring the use of specially made rolling stock. Served by steam locomotives from the time of opening until the late 1950s, passenger services were then taken over by a fleet of diesel-electric multiple units built to the line’s loading gauge. Freight was handled by diesel locomotives, also built to fit the loading gauge. The diesel-electric units were in service until 1986, when the line was electrified and the most severely affected tunnels were singled. ( ) Full article...
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