Part 3 of my small potted history of my local stations contained within the Medway area.
Chatham station on its current site opened on the 25th January 1858 by the London, Chatham & Dover Railway. This only took the line towards Faversham initially. The station at this time comprised of 3 running platforms, one serving the ‘down’ line towards Faversham. The other was an island platform serving 1 ‘up’ line and the other serving trio of loop sidings. Above the lines, a road bridge crossed, which has stairs down to the platforms and the station building, at this stage at platform level.
The station is situated in a tight cutting, and flanked either end by the Chatham and Fort Pitt tunnels.
Full running from Victoria to Ramsgate was realised from 5th October 1863. Around this time a major remodelling of the station took place. The main change was the addition of a main booking hall over the tracks on the road bridge, and the demolition of the original booking hall on the platform. The sidings were mostly removed at this time, however two still remained adjacent to the ‘up’ and ‘down’ platforms respectively.
Electrification arrived in July 1939, including electric lighting to the platforms. The mechanical signals were removed in 1959, replaced by 3 colour aspect signals, controlled from the new power box at Rochester. Two years later, new buildings on the ‘up’ platform were completed and the station has not really changed since, except the replacement of the signals during 2013-2017.
For more detailed information on Chatham Station, head to Kent Rail Website.
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