Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 3 – Beltring

Beltring was opened in 1909 by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway as Beltring and Banbridge halt. These small stations were put along the line mainly to serve small rural locations, which would only be served otherwise by local trams.

railway station

Station buildings on such halts did not exist, but they did provide waiting shelters on both platforms, and their modern equivalents are still provided today.

railway station

A small siding for local goods produced by farmers was placed behind the London bound platform, and existed right up until 1961 when the line was electrified. Where the siding once stood, a farm exists today.

sheep in fields

The only way to cross to either platform is by the road level crossing. Along the platforms, many posters can be seen and some detail the Kent Rail Partnership and walks which can be taken from this station.

level crossing
notice board railway

Being one of the most rural stations on this list, the nearest housing estate being 20 minutes away, Beltring is certainly a niche station. However, it does provide fantastic straight line views both up and down the line, allowing enthusiasts good photographic opportunities of both passenger and freight services which frequent the line. Just remember that as with the majority of these smaller stations, there are no toilet facilities.

uk train

Here is a video of Beltring, made as part of the “Least used stations in Kent” series I produced on my YouTube channel.

Many thanks for reading, and if this has interested you, please feel free to view other sections of my Blog, or even give my YouTube channel a visit. Thank You.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 4 – Kemsing

Opened in 1987, Kemsing has always been a small unassuming station. With only two brick built shelters, it lacked a proper station building, due mainly to the fact that the surrounding population was small.

The station certainly didn’t lack in goods facilities however, with a large six siding yard placed on the London bound side, one of which went through a good shed.

Not much of note happened until 1939, when the concrete footbridge was erected, mainly out of necessity as the line was being electrified. The platforms were also extended at this time. By the end of the 1960’s, the goods yard was gone, and by the end of the 1980’s, the shelters were demolished. These were replaced by bus shelter type designs.

As well as all that, the footbridge has also been replaced, leaving only the railings as an original feature at the station.

Statistics for Kemsing are as follows:

Opened : 1874

2 trains per hour each way at peak times, 1 train per hour each way off peak and weekends

Entry and exit figures for 2018/2019 were 22,476

It is mainly served at the time of writing by class 377 Electric Multiple Units, and freight is seen a little on the line also.

With sparse platforms, Kemsing is a remote station backed with good views up and down the line. For the enthusiast, weekday freight trains are an added bonus.

Many thanks for reading this blog. If you want to view a Vlog about Kemsing, please click on the video link below, thankyou.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 5 – Bekesbourne

Opened in 1861 by the London Chatham and Dover railway, Bekesbourne is to be found on the Dover branch of the Chatham mainline. The station building was located on the London bound platform, and was similar to that at Shepherds Well.

It had a goods shed located on the same side, albeit smaller than other locations along the line having only two lines. A footbridge was installed in 1911, and was the last notable addition to be seen here.

The goods yard was removed in 1961, and the small signal box suffered the same fate in 1964. Eventually all the buildings were demolished in 1970, the shelters being replaced with rectanguar ‘bus shelter’ types.

Currently the station is served by class 375 Electric Multiple Units. These serve the station with 2 trains per hour each way on the weekday peak, reducing to 1 train per hour off peak and at weekends.

Bekesbourne may have had its charm removed, indeed it is quite a bleak station, but for the enthusiast good views can be had down the line. It is however a mainly passenger service line, freight locomotives being only used during any engineering work.

If you wish to see more of Bekesbourne, my Vlog is below. This is part of a series documenting the top ten least used stations in Kent.

Many thanks for reading this Blog. Please visit my channel on YouTube, or drop by on my Instagram or Facebook pages, just search for rainham rail enthusiast. I shall write again soon, see you then.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 6 – Dumpton Park

Opened in 1926, the station was opened to facilitate a reduction in lines between Ramsgate and Margate. The station was quite a lavish affair, identical to that at Broadstairs. The station platforms were reached by use of a covered walkway, which lead to a lift down to the platforms. The space for the lift can still be seen in this photograph:

In 1936, close to the station, the line down to Ramsgate harbour was re-opened. This was commonly known as the ‘Tunnel Railway’, and helped boost passenger numbers to Dumpton Park. However with its demise in 1965, the fate of Dumpton Park seemed to be sealed. I will cover the tunnel railway hopefully later this year (2021).

Once the Tunnel Railway closed, passenger numbers steadily dwindled at Dumpton Park. The station building was un-ceremonially demolished in the early 1970’s, and soon after the lift shaft and canopy roof over the bridge disappeared.

What is left today is a pretty sad mono-platform, only accessible by the steps off the footbridge. It does have an electronic ticket machine, posters and a help point, but all of the charm has gone. A housing estate now surrounds the entrance, which is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look.

Towards Ramsgate

Towards Broadstairs

Stopping passenger traffic is (at time of writing) class 375 Electric Multiple Units. There are various through trains throughout the day (mainly Class 395 ‘Javelin’s’). Freight is mostly non existent, with some engineering trains mainly during the weekend, if work is going on in the area.

A video from my YouTube channel is below, if you wish to view.

Many thanks for reading. Please visit and subscribe to my sister Vlog channel on YouTube by searching for rainhamrailenthusiast.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 7 – Adisham

Adisham was opened in 1861 by the London, Chatham and Dover railway. The station building was a virtual replica to that found at Sole Street, with an all over white paint finish. Situated on Dover “Down” side of the line, it still sports its original and unusual Chimney vents, as can be seen below.

There was a small shelter put onto the London bound side. A goods shed was put to the south of the main building on the “Down” side, a structure which still stands today (in the middle to the right in the picture below), although it is now used as business premises.

A signal box of grand design was put on the “Up” side around 1878. Being of a timber construction, it was higher than the main building, and was quite an unusual design. Unfortunately it was removed in the early 2000’s, a casualty of the re-signalling of all the line.

The station used to be quite busy, being on the line which served many of the Kent Collieries. But with the closure of these in the late 1980’s, passenger traffic has substantially declined, but it still regularly commands passenger entry and exit numbers of between 25 and 27 thousand per year.

Saying that, here are the figures for Adisham. The station at time of writing gets 2 trains per hour in peak hours, and 1 train per hour off peak and at weekends. Freight or engineering trains are rarely seen. According to the ORR figures of 2018/2019 it had 27,600 exit and entry’s. Stopping services are provided by class 375 Electric Multiple Units.

A video about Adisham can be found on my YouTube channel, which you can view by clicking on the link below :

Many thanks for reading. Please visit and subscribe to my sister Vlog channel on YouTube by searching for rainhamrailenthusiast.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 8 – East Farleigh

The station is situated on the Medway Valley Line, and was opened in 1844, with the current layout of two staggerd platforms, separated by a level crossing.

The goods shed once stood on the Maidstone “up” side of the station, opposite the Paddock Wood “down” side platform. The current car park being where this brick built shed once stood.

Access to both platforms can be made via the original South Eastern railway footbridge, which is still here and can be seen above.

A station building was opened on the Paddock Wood side in 1846, it being the first timber building built by the South Eastern Railway. The signal box arrived in 1892 next to the station building, and both at time of writing are still here.

Traffic on the line is both passenger and freight, the passenger traffic being formed of 3 car class 375 electric multiple units (at time of writing).

If you exit the station and go a short way down the hill, you will come to a bridge across the river Medway. Constructed around the 14th century, it is grade one listed and well worth a look.

The station at time of writing gets 2 trains per hour in the peak, and 1 train per hour off peak and at weekends. Freight is seen quite often, mainly on weekdays however. According to the ORR figures of 2018/2019 it had 35,742 exit and entry’s.

A video of this station is on my YouTube Channel, and is below if you wish to view.

Many thanks for reading. Please visit and subscribe to my sister Vlog channel on YouTube by searching for rainhamrailenthusiast.

Top Ten Least Used Stations In Kent : 9 – Yalding

This time, I am on the Medway Valley line, visiting the 9th least used station in Kent, Yalding. Opened in 1844 as a platform only station, its first station building opened in 1846. At first access to both platforms was via a track crossing.

The original building was destroyed by fire in 1893, and the replacement building was opened in 1894. This still stands today, however it has been boarded up in recent years and is no longer in use. It would be nice to see a small shop open, but I am unsure about how busy this could get. Still it seems a shame that such a substantial building is left empty.

A signal box was positioned beside a level crossing and the station building, but this closed in 1986 and has now unfortunately been removed. A footbridge across the platforms was added in 1895 and happily still survives.

Below is a view from the footbridge towards Maidstone

And here is a view towards Paddock Wood

For track views Yalding is a fantastic place. Freight and engineering trains are quite often on the route, check the Real Time Trains website for up to date details on workings. The straight track towards Paddock wood gives great views of all types of workings, whereas the Maidstone bound side has a great curve after the station for side on views. Couple this with mandatory horns because of foot crossings, and this is a great place to view freight.

Below is the Vlog associated with this post.

Many thanks for reading, please search for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on Facebook Instagram and YouTube.

Top ten least used stations in Kent 10 – Ashurst

Part of a new series on my YouTube channel, I visit all the top ten least used stations in Kent, starting with Ashurst.

Opened in 1888 by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, the station is at time of writing operated by Southern, a subsidiary of Govia Thameslink.

It has a reasonable sized car park next to it, one of only a handful on this list, and the overall setting is very pleasant. Below you can see the view along the tracks towards London.

Here is a view towards Ukfield. The line is actually known as the Ukfield branch of the Oxted line. Class 171 Diesel Multiple Units operate on the line at the time of writing.

The station has the usual help points, dot matrix displays, and two wooden shelters. There is also an additional modern shelter on the London bound platform.

A very pleasant station, with good views for the enthusiast, however traffic is mainly passenger.

For a full overview of the station, please view the YouTube video below.

Ill blog again next week with mini overview of the next on the list. Many thanks for reading.

This Train Terminates Here : My Debut Book!

Well, it is finally out of the bag, so to speak. My first book is now available to order on Amazon. I decided to self publish, and that was an eye opener let me tell you! I have learnt so much in the last year and three quarters since I started it, and I hope the finished result is going to be enjoyed by a few people at least.

But what is it about? Well here is the title:

‘This Train Terminates Here : London Railway Termini Up To 2020’

The book not only gives brief histories of the 14 London termini, but also gives a walkthrough of each one, highlighting the many statues, sculptures and plaques along the way.

I hope that anyone who reads the book will come away with better knowledge of these fantastic stations, and maybe will be tempted to visit one or more of them to see the articles themselves. I see the book as a snapshot of the current termini, as many may not be the same in the future (especially Euston).

Below is a link to the book, as well as a few photgraphs of the book, just to give you an idea.

Many thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this, please search for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, Thank You.

The East Kent Railway – August 2020

I visited the East Kent Railway at Shepherdswell in Kent on the 1st August 2020. It was their first running day since the lockdown due to Covid-19. I aim to showcase some of the things on offer at this fantastic heritage railway in this short blog.

Firstly, the railway is home to a couple of MK2 carriages in BR Blue as well as a VEP DTC coach from 3545. These give a comfortable ride along the route, and for those who remeber travelling in these, a great feeling of nostalgia. They are usually hauled by diesel shunters or a steam locomotive.

Taking of which, the diesels used comprise of either a Vanguard, or class 08 shunters. All are very well kept / restored and suit the line perfectly.

Hopefully soon, a very exiting new addition will run. The railway has acquired a pacer unit! This will fit the line perfectly, and with the availability of parts, hopefully be easy to maintain. I look forward to riding it soon.

The heritage line is complemented with two miniature railways (one is only in operation at time of writing, the woodland one). These give an entirely different experience, but one which is fun and well suited to the young visitors (or young at heart!!)

There are also two carriages which host a few model railway layouts, all of which are well run and modelled. There is always something interesting to see going round the layouts, and the operators are very enthusiastic about their work.

Add to all this, some really good woodland walks, being able to get up close to some of the stock, and of course a fantastic cafe which serves great food and drinks (milkshakes are fantastic).

I had looked at this railway before but never had been. I liked the rolling stock they have as it reminds me of my childhood. Even before this first visit, I had become a member, in order to help in a small way to keep this railway running through a difficault economic period. Visiting only confirmed that I had made the right choice, and I plan more visits in the future.

Below are a few photographs, plus a Vlog which I created detailing this visit. If you can, please visit this small but very well run railway, you won’t be disappointed.

Many thanks for reading. If you enjoyed, please search for Rainham Rail Enthusiast on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram – Thank You.