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This line first opened in 1900 after a series of aborted attempts.  It was always a rural line with few passenger and goods opportunities.  Passenger numbers declined dramatically after the war, and the line was closed for regular passenger services in 1954.  Some special services continued in the Kentish hop-picking seasons, but the line finally closed completely in 1961.

The line from Tenterden to Bodiam was acquired by the preservation trust in 1973.  The preserved line was opened in stages, the first section at Tenterden in 1974.  An extension to Northiam came in 1990, and finally Bodiam was reached in 2000, making a very respectable 10 mile long journey.

A detailed history is available here.

The photographs below were taken on Sunday 10th May 2009.


Main station running-in name sign at Tenterden Town.


Tenterden Town passenger platform.
As well as the ticket office, the building houses a comprehensive gift and souvenir shop.


The Pullman restaurant cars are available for fine dining and special functions.


Interesting row of vintage passenger carriages.
Apparently, most were rescued from lives as gardens sheds, but have now been fully restored.


This is a former District Railway carriage from the earliest steam days.
It was found at Dymchurch in use as a storage shed in 1976.
It is thought to have been built in 1884, and was restored for running in 1980.


Hand-worked crane and entrance to the workshops.


Main platform with indicators for the next trains to depart.
The Signal Box was erected in 1973, and was formally at Chilham, near Canterbury.


No 23 "Holman F. Stephens" 0-6-0ST enters Tenterden Town with the train from Bodiam.
The locomotive was built by Hunslets for the Army in 1953.
She was acquired by the K&ESR in 1972 and entered service in 1974.


No 23 waiting to run round the train for the return journey to Bodiam.


No 23 now attached to the train for the 10 mile run to Bodiam.  It will make three stops on the way.


At the level crossing over the busy A26 road, the train stops, and the fireman will operate the level crossing gates.
(Photo taken from the train, through the glass)


Vehicles waiting at the A26 level crossing, as seen from the passing train.


Loco 662 is a 0-6-0T built by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, at their Brighton works in 1875.
It was taken into preservation in 1964.
Loco 753 is a 0-6-0T built by the South East & Chatham Railway at their Ashford works in 1909.
100 years old this year!!!!   It was taken into preservation in 1970.

(Photographed through the window of a passing train)


Entrance to Bodiam Station


Station name at Bodiam


The platform at Bodiam.


The station building at Bodiam.  This is the original building.


Inside the ticket office.


The track heading towards Robertsbridge.  The K&ESR terminates at Bodiam, but the
Rother Valley Railway Trust has aspirations to reopen the line between Bodiam and Robertsbridge.


No 23 again - this time with a train for Tenterden Town.


The level crossing gates are manually opened for the impending departure.


No 23 sets off with her train.


Over the level crossing she goes.


An exchange of greetings between the guard and level crossing operator.


A DMU approaching Bodiam is shown the green flag to confirm that it is safe to proceed over the level crossing.


The DMU enters Bodiam Station.


The DMU ready for the return journey to Tenterden Town.





My Photographs Links Page K&ESR Selector Page See also the 1988 archive page


Copyright M J Smith, 2009
No photographs to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.