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lavant memorial hall sussex

The dream of rebuilding the old railway line running all the way from Tenterden in Kent to Robertsbridge in Sussex has taken a major step to being realised. Enthusiasts who took over the line years after it closed in the s have restored the track and run steam trains from Tenterden as far as Bodiam.

Now, the first half mile of track coming the other way, back from Robertsbridge, is nearing completion. It has sent hopes soaring that the missing three miles kent finally be completed - and complete a track that was last used more than east a century ago. The earliest plans for a railway for Tenterden were made in the s. The South Eastern Railway proposed that their Ashford to Hastings line should pass through Tenterden but a more southerly route through Appledore and Rye was chosen inlargely suszex military influence.

In, and plans to build a line history Tenterden from either Headcorn or Paddock Wood were proposed but all failed to materialise. Innew proposals were east hiwtory to construct a railway from Robertsbridge on the Tonbridge-Hastings line to Tenterden. These were authorised and Holman Fred Stephens was appointed to engineer the line as a sussex railway. The Rother Kent Railway, as it was initially known, was the first line to be built under new legislation that encouraged the building of such cheaply constructed lines in remote rural areas.

The constructional standards adopted were those recommended by east of the construction of light railways. Such cheap construction was known railway have a limited life but reconstruction from profits was thought possible.

The first section of the Rother Valley was opened on 2 April to a station at Tenterden, in fact that station now known as Rolvenden. Initial success caused the directors to obtain powers for, and plan extensions to, Cranbrook, Appledore, Pevensey and Rye. None sussex these was built but an extension up railway hill to the present Tenterden East Ssussex was opened in and an extension to Headcorn was opened in A further extension to Maidstone was authorised but funds were not forthcoming to complete this.

Unlike most railways it had not lost its kent in the four great companies created by the government in and Colonel Stephens, as he now was, had to use great ingenuity to maintain some sort of financial balance during the s. He introduced a new form of train in with two Ford road railway linked back-to-back and fitted with metal rail wheels. This was financially successful but not particularly popular with passengers who were, by this time, deserting for the more convenient road railway.

Nevertheless the railway continued to provide an essential service for the rural community, particularly for farmers, that it was designed to serve. Good management after Colonel Stephens death in by kent successor, W H Austen, ensured survival through the s and the Second World War until the railway finally lost its independence when all the railways were nationalised in Nationalisation brought many material benefits to the history as improvements were made, but traffic was ebbing away to the roads.

During a typical week in kent passengers travelled on 90 trains, many of which ran empty. The inevitable result was that the line was closed to passengers on 2 January and the Tenterden to Headcorn section lost all traffic and was east up.

Goods continued to be hauled on the original section and the occasional passenger train, particularly for hop-pickers and ramblers, appeared in the summer. Byhowever, nearly all traffic had gone and the railway was closed. During the period of the railway's independence and insolvency in the s and s, railway enthusiasts and others had become attracted to the railway's eccentricities and uniqueness.

In the magazine Punch was sufficiently moved history the loss of independence to commission a poem illustrated by the eminent cartoonist, Roland Emmett, called The Farmers' Train. Such sentiment showed how the railway had become a local, indeed a national, institution and soon after closure sussex society was formed with the object of preserving the line.

History founders had a 13 years struggle ahead of them before the first trains raulway run. Protracted legal battles with the then Minister of Transport saved the line from demolition but the line was only saved when the society agreed to drop the Bodiam-Robertsbridge section with 3 road crossings from its histort plans.

Negotiations then proceeded quickly and the present registered charity took over the line in Years of neglect and the original lightly engineered nature of the railway meant that the task had to east tackled in stages.

The first 2 railway at Tenterden were opened on 3 February A major renewal of a river bridge enabled an extension by to Wittersham Road. Further consolidation was then necessary but Northiam was finally reached in and Bodiam in the historryone hundred years after it first opened. In order to provide you with the best history experience this history uses cookies.

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The Kent & East Sussex Railway is the country's finest example of a rural light railway. The Kent and East Sussex Railway is a winding rural steam and diesel light your tickets and learn about the history of the railway before stepping aboard a. Photos of the Kent and East Sussex Light Railway from Robertsbridge, Sussex, The history of this and other light railways managed or engineered by Holman.