Swale railway station

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National Rail
Swale Station with the Sheppey Crossing in the background
General information
LocationKingsferry Bridge, Iwade, Swale
Grid referenceTQ912691
Managed bySoutheastern
Other information
Station codeSWL
ClassificationDfT category F2
Key dates
25 November 1913[1]Staff halt opened as Kings Ferry Bridge Halt
December 1922Opened to passengers as Kings Ferry Bridge South Halt
1 November 1923Renamed Kings Ferry Bridge Halt
1929Renamed Swale Halt
20 April 1960New station opened on different site
2016/17Increase 4,456
2017/18Increase 4,740
2018/19Increase 7,470
2019/20Increase 8,044
2020/21Decrease 3,142
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Swale railway station is in north Kent, England, on the Sheerness Line 47 miles 15 chains (75.9 km) from London Victoria, at the southern end of the Kingsferry Bridge which, along with the more modern Sheppey Crossing, connects the Isle of Sheppey to mainland Kent. The nearest settlement is Iwade. Train services are provided by Southeastern.


Map of the Swale Railway Station in relation to other local stations and the Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway. The Chatham Main Line runs along the bottom, east to west, while the Sheerness Line branches off northwards, west of Sittingbourne.

Swale is a single platform station with one curving platform. It is immediately adjacent to the A249 road which is on a flyover above the station before it crosses The Swale on the Sheppey Crossing. The station is named after The Swale, the channel which separates the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland and connects with the River Medway to the west and Thames Estuary to the west. North of the station, the railway line crosses the channel on the Kingsferry Bridge. Ridham Dock lies 1 mile (1.6 km) south-east of the station.

Swale Station is the least used station in Kent.[2]


The station was opened in 1913 as a staff halt, called Kings Ferry Bridge Halt.[3] On 17 December 1922, the Norwegian cargo ship Gyp collided with the Kingsferry Bridge,[4] rendering it unfit for rail traffic, and the station was renamed Kings Ferry Bridge South Halt, and opened to the public, who were able to walk across the bridge to a temporary station at Kings Ferry Bridge North Halt to continue their journeys.

This arrangement continued until 1 November 1923, when the bridge reopened to traffic and the North halt closed. The station was renamed Kings Ferry Bridge Halt on this date. The name was changed to Swale Halt in 1929. With the building of the new Kingsferry Bridge in 1960, a new station was constructed by British Railways on a different alignment, opening on 20 April 1960.[3]

In 2005 the idea of closing Swale station, or at least replacing its train service with a token service (e.g. one train a week in either direction), was proposed by the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA)[5] but rejected.


All services at Swale are operated by Southeastern using Class 375 EMUs.

The typical off-peak service in trains per hour is:[6]

During the peak hours, the service is increased to 2 tph.

Connections with trains to London Victoria and London St Pancras International can be made by changing at Sittingbourne.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station


  1. ^ Private and Untimetabled Railway Stations by G.Croughton
  2. ^ "A Kent railway station has just ELEVEN passengers a day". Kent Live. 16 December 2016. Archived from the original on 17 December 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b Kidner, p. 56.
  4. ^ "King's Ferry Bridge seriously damaged". The Times. No. 43217. London. 18 December 1922. col A, p. 9.
  5. ^ "Kent franchise sees service plans revised". Modern Railways. London: Ian Allan. February 2005. p. 5.
  6. ^ Table 212 National Rail timetable, December 2021
  • Kidner, R. W. (1985). Southern Railway Halts. Survey and Gazetteer. Headington, Oxford: The Oakwood Press. ISBN 0-85361-321-4.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°23′21″N 0°44′50″E / 51.3892°N 0.7471°E / 51.3892; 0.7471