Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 1 – Swale

Swale really is remote, no real housing or commercial buildings are nearby, and it is amazing it is still used. However it does have an interesting and important part to play in the history of the line.

The station was opened in 1913 as Kings ferry bridge halt, and as such had no station building, just a couple of small huts for shelter. It traversed the River Medway over a bridge, but after a ship collided with the bridge in 1922, it was deemed unfit for railway traffic.

This meant that passengers were required to exit this station and walk over a temporary bridge to another station which had been provided to continue their journey.  This change meant the renaming of the station to Kings ferry bridge south halt.

It was renamed again in 1929 to Swale Halt when the railway bridge reopened after repairs, and continued with this name until a new bridge was opened in 1960, when it became known just as Swale station.  The station is very remote, the nearest village being Iwade, which is a 25 min walk away.

There is one dot matrix display, positioned at the top of the ramp which from the very small car park (which is in fact where the replacement bus service would pick up and set down.  At the bottom of this ramp is an electronic ticketing machine.  Turning back to walk up the ramp, on your left are various poster boards.

These include timetables, service information, a board for the Kent community rail partnership and of course an onward travel information board.  Like others on this list, there are no other facilities here. Trains at time of writing are class 375 electric multiple units.

Passenger entry and exits for 2019 / 2020  were 8, 044. I am using these figures as the figures for 2020 / 2021 are skewed due to the pandemic, and so are unreliable.

The video for Swale, recorded before the Class 375’s took over the line can be seen below.

Published by

rainhamrailenthusiast

I am a railway enthusiast based in Rainham, Kent. I enjoy mainly modern traction, however the history of rail, especially in places I visit, also interests me. I also have a static model railway, Mistydale, which has its own Facebook page. Thanks for visiting.

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