Northiam railway station

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Northiam Railway Station.jpg
AreaRother, East Sussex
Coordinates51°00′34″N 0°36′53″E / 51.009475°N 0.614716°E / 51.009475; 0.614716Coordinates: 51°00′34″N 0°36′53″E / 51.009475°N 0.614716°E / 51.009475; 0.614716
Grid referenceTQ835265
Original companyRother Valley Railway
Pre-groupingKent and East Sussex Railway
Post-groupingSouthern Region of British Railways
2 April 1900[1]Opened
4 January 1954Closed to passengers
12 June 1961[2]Goods services withdrawn
19 May 1990Services resumed
4 June 1990Officially reopened
Stations on heritage railways in the United Kingdom

Northiam railway station is on the Kent and East Sussex Railway. It is located to the west of the level crossing on the A28 road linking the Kentish village of Newenden and the East Sussex village of Northiam. Having served the area for over sixty years, the station closed with the line in 1961, but was later reopened in 1990 by the Kent and East Sussex Railway heritage organisation.


Northiam was one of the original stations on the 12-mile (19 km) line opened by the Rother Valley Railway between Rolvenden and Robertsbridge in 1900.[3] All the original three stations were slightly removed from the villages which they were purporting to serve; Northiam, which was in fact closer to Newenden, lay 1.75 miles (2.82 km) to the north of Northiam village.[4] As with all K&ESR stations except Tenterden Town, Northiam had a simple wooden-frame, corrugated iron clad station building.[5]

A long curving passing loop ran between two platform faces; Northiam was the only station south of Tenterden to be afforded such facilities,[6] possibly on account of its location half-way between Robertsbridge and Tenterden.[7] Two sidings led into a small goods yard and cattle dock to the south of the station.[8] This saw use when, during the early part of the 20th century, Howse & Co. held fortnightly livestock sales in a nearby field. Two simple wooden bungalows were later erected in Northiam's goods yard as staff accommodation.[9] By the 1950s, the second platform had fallen into disuse and British Railways had installed catch points to the goods yard sidings to prevent wagons rolling on to the main line.[10] Regular passenger services on the line were withdrawn on Saturday 2 January 1954,[11] the line between Tenterden and Robertsbridge remaining open for goods traffic until 12 June 1961.[12]

Present day[edit]

Station looking east.

Passenger services returned to Northiam on 19 May 1990 when the Kent and East Sussex Railway Preservation Society extended its operating line to the station. The project had required extensive repairs to the bridge over the River Rother on the Kent/East Sussex county boundary which, at 66 feet (20 m), is the longest bridge on the line.[13] The extension project featured in a 1989 episode of Challenge Anneka, the challenge being to restore the extant station building and lay sufficient track to allow a train to enter within 48 hours. The deadline was met and at 6.15pm on Sunday 23 July 1989, SECR P class locomotive no. 1556 was the first locomotive to return to Northiam station. The episode was broadcast on 20 October 1989. The extension was officially inspected on 14 May 1990 after completion of the track layout, installation of a water crane, surfacing of the platforms, rebuilding of the level crossing and erection of a new toilet block.[14] The first services ran on 19 May 1990,[1] and on 4 June 1990 the station was officially reopened by the Duke of Gloucester. The Northiam extension led to a record number of passengers using the line—81,934—the highest since 1913.[14] Initially only the Up platform was brought into use, it having been decided to reinstate the unrestored Down platform once the extension to Bodiam had been completed.[15]


Preceding station Heritage Railways  Heritage railways Following station
Wittersham Road   Kent and East Sussex Railway   Bodiam
  Historical railways  
Wittersham Road   British Railways
Southern Region

Kent and East Sussex Railway
  Dixter Halt


  1. ^ a b Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations, Patrick Stephens Ltd, Sparkford, ISBN 1-85260-508-1, p. 173.
  2. ^ Clinker, C.R. (October 1978). Clinker's Register of Closed Passenger Stations and Goods Depots in England, Scotland and Wales 1830-1977. Bristol: Avon-AngliA Publications & Services. p. 102. ISBN 0-905466-19-5.
  3. ^ Course, Edwin (1976). The Railways of Southern England: Independent and Light Railways. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. p. 39. ISBN 0-7134-0490-6.
  4. ^ Course, E., p. 41.
  5. ^ White, H.P. (1987). Forgotten Railways: South-East England (Forgotten Railways Series). Newton Abbot, Devon: David & Charles. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-946537-37-2.
  6. ^ Mitchell, Vic; Smith, Keith (1988). Branch Line to Tenterden. Midhurst, West Sussex: Middleton Press. p. Plate 38. ISBN 978-0-906520-21-5.
  7. ^ Glasspool, David. "Northiam station". Kent Rail. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  8. ^ Scott-Morgan, John (2007). An Illustrated History of the Kent and East Sussex Railway. Hersham, Surrey: OPC Railprint. p. 25. ISBN 978-0-86093-608-4.
  9. ^ Garrett, Stephen (1999). The Kent & East Sussex Light Railway. Usk, Mon.: The Oakwood Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-85361-516-3.
  10. ^ Scott-Morgan, S., p. 25.
  11. ^ Garrett, S., p. 47.
  12. ^ Course, E., p. 52.
  13. ^ Mitchell, V. and Smith, K., plate 45.
  14. ^ a b Garrett, S., p. 99.
  15. ^ Gough, Terry (1998). The Kent & East Sussex Railway. Kettering, Northants: Past & Present Publishing Ltd. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-85895-149-2.