Staplehurst railway station
|Local authority||Borough of Maidstone|
|Number of platforms||2|
|Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
|Annual rail passenger usage*|
|Key dates||Opened 31 August 1842|
|National Rail – UK railway stations|
|* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Staplehurst from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.|
|UK Railways portal|
Staplehurst railway station is on the South Eastern Main Line in England, serving the town of Staplehurst, Kent. It is 41 miles 70 chains (67.4 km) down-line from London Charing Cross and is situated between Marden and Headcorn. The station and all trains calling there are operated by Southeastern.
It is located in the north of the Staplehurst urban area — which lies in the Maidstone Borough Council administrative area. The ticket office, staffed for part of the day, is located in a modern building on the London-bound platform 1. A passenger-operated self-service ticket machine is located by the platform 1 entrance.
The station is used by commuters to London from Cranbrook, Sissinghurst and Hawkhurst, which have no stations of their own. Arriva Southern Counties bus 5 links these three settlements to the station.
As of May 2010 the typical off peak services from this station are:
- 2tph (trains per hour) to London Charing Cross
- 1tph to Dover Priory and Canterbury West (dividing at Ashford International)
- 1tph to Ramsgate via Dover and Canterbury, dividing at Ashford
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
South Eastern Main Line
There is step free access to both platforms following the construction of a new footbridge incorporating lifts in 2009.
- The stretch of line near the station which crosses the River Beult (pronounced "Belt") was the site of a fatal train accident on 9 June 1865. This accident is well known in literary circles as Charles Dickens was on the stricken train and survived. He later wrote a short story, "The Signal-Man", which was said to have been inspired by this accident, although it was actually based on the earlier Clayton Tunnel rail crash of 1861. The accident left Dickens very anxious about rail travel.
- On 14 September 1996, an eastbound Railfreight Distribution service, train number 6O67, the 00:53 Wembley Yard to Dollands Moor Yard, hauled by locomotives 47 033 and 47 360, came to a stand under the Sweetlands Lane bridge east of Staplehurst. A French-owned wagon loaded with steel coil derailed nearly 3 miles (4.8 km) earlier, at Godden Cottages foot crossing; but as the derailed wagon was mid-train it remained upright and in formation, until striking a crossover at Staplehurst, causing the derailed bogie to disintegrate. The wagon mounted the station platform breaking the train brake pipe thus applying the brakes. The older brick section of the station platform deflected the wagon back onto the line, narrowly missing the A229 trunk road bridge, which otherwise would have been severely damaged.[original research?]
- It took three days to re-open the railway after the accident. The damaged steel coil wagon was moved to a site west of the station on the London-bound side of the line to be unloaded.
- The cause of the accident was that the train was travelling at up to 75 miles per hour (121 km/h), which was in excess of the 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) limit of the wagon. Although it was not possible to weigh the derailed wagon, other wagons in the train were unevenly loaded, which meant that individual wheel loads exceeded permitted limits.
- Train times and station information for Staplehurst railway station from National Rail
- Signal box diagrams for 1950 and 1962
- Staplehurst station on navigable 1940 OS map