East Kent Railway
INFORMATION FOR THE VISITOR
The East Kent Railway is an interesting former industrial railway that once served the Kent coalfield. Indeed it is one of very few reminders today of the existence of the coal industry in Kent. It was built under the guidance of the famous Colonel Stephens as a light railway. A short heritage line, its trains are appropriately hauled by small industrial steam locomotives, as well as occasional multiple units. Easy to reach by car from the East Kent coast.
Key Facts (where and when)
Extent of Railway (where to where):
Shepherdswell to Eythorne (East Kent)
Principal Visitor Centre:
Shepherdswell station (CT15 7PD)
Period of Operation*
- April to September (Sundays and most Bank Holidays)
[* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days]
Key Facts (what you’ll see)
Services usually steam or diesel?
Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:
Predominantly small diesel locomotives and Pacers
Length of Line:
Time taken for a round trip:
Number of trains per day:
4 in each direction
Number of Stations:
Adult: £8 Child: £5. Family: £20
Time to allow for Visit:
Car Park Facilities:
Limited parking available at Shepherdswell station
Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)
- None currently advertised
- Santa by Train: Late November and December
- None currently advertised
Email: Use contact box on railway website
Telephone: 01304 832042
Social Media: www.facebook.com/TheEastKentRailway
Also on Twitter
INFORMATION FOR THE ENTHUSIAST
Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation
The heritage railway runs along part of the East Kent Light Railway, built by Colonel Stephens to serve the Kent coalfields. The line ran from Shepherdswell to Wingham (Canterbury Road) Station with a branch to Richborough Port. The line included a number of branches to serve mines. Only Tilmanstone colliery was successful, and the line from there to Shepherdswell remained open for freight until 1986. Tilmanstone colliery is just north of Eythorne Station, and a preservation group was established at the time of closure with the intent of operating the line from there to Shepherdswell as a heritage railway. The heritage line opened in 1987.
Restoration of its Heritage DEMU Class 205 unit.
Steam Operational Locomotives:
Peckett Steam Locomotive - No. 2087
Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU/EMU:
(1) BR Class 08 shunter - 08676
(2) BR Class 08 shunter - 08865
(3) Ruston& Hornsby 0-6-0 shunter - ‘The Buffs' No.427
(4) Thomas Hill Vanguard shunter - 01530
(5) Heritage DEMU Class 205 - No. 1101
(6) Heritage EMU 4 COR - No. 3142
(7) Pacer DMU - 142017 and 142036
(1) Thomas Hill Vanguard shunter - 01543
(2) BR EMU VOP - 3905
Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:
- Avonside 0-6-0 'St Dunstan'
- English Electric 0-6-0DH - 'Richborough Castle'
- Fowler 0-4-0DM - 'Snowdown'
- BR Class 08 shunter - 08799
INFORMATION ON THE SUPPORT GROUP
Name of Support Group:
East Kent Railway Trust
Annual membership fee:
Adult: £20 Senior: £16 Junior: £12 Life: £230
Benefits of membership:
- Quarterly Magazine, ‘EKR News’
What They Say About Volunteering:
Volunteers follow a short induction programme before starting work at the EKRT. Volunteers work (and are trained) in all areas of the railway including Engineering, Site Work, Catering, Retail, Events, Publicity, Train Service Operations and more.
How to Volunteer: Go to www.eastkentrailway.co.uk/ekr-membership and scroll to the bottom of the page for information on volunteering
How to Donate: Go to www.eastkentrailway.co.uk/donate
How to Join: www.eastkentrailway.co.uk/ekr-membership
WHY JOIN: Help the railway restore its heritage 205 DEMU unit.
INFORMATION ON OTHER SOCIETIES WITH RELATED INTEREST
Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this
Traditional Railway Societies:
- Industrial Railway Society
- Colonel Stephens Society
- South East and Chatham Railway Society
Model Railway Clubs:
- Folkestone, Hythe and District Model Railway Club