Hildenborough was opened in 1868 by the South Eastern Railway company. It is the only station between the larger Tonbridge and Sevenoaks stations. Unusually for the time, the platforms were not staggered, but placed opposite each other from the start.
As with all others on the line, crossing the track was done by means of a foot crossing placed at the end of the Tonbridge bound side. The station when it opened had one single siding placed on the coastbound side, and this was joined by two further sidings on the London bound side in the 1890s. A third was added by the end of the century.
The substation you see below was put here during the 1960s as part of the electrification scheme, and replaced the siding on the coastbound platform.
In this view from the bridge towards Tonbridge, you can clearly see the break in the third rail in the foreground. This is where the staff foot crossing used to be. The line curves away from the station as it leaves towards Tonbridge.
The station building seen here below original, however it had external rendering work done to protect the station in the 1950’s, but at least it survived the cull which many succumbed to in the 1960’s. A further building is adjacent to it, which is currently owned by a coffee shop.
This view from platform 2 shows the original features quite well including the sash windows which were common for the southeast railway.
At the time of writing, passenger traffic is undertaken either by class 375 electric multiple units, or during the peak times, class 466 electric multiple units may also be seen.
The passenger entry and exit figures for 2019-2020 were 573 762.
Hildenborough offers good sight lines for the Enthusiast and the original station building gives it lots of character, however the electric substation is quite noisy and can impact videography. at times. But that should detract from the fact that Hildenborough is still a thoroughly lovely station which is well maintained.
Below is a video I filmed in 2021 :
Thanks for reading :
“If you can, get out there, get on the railway, and see where it takes you.” ©