A small potted history of the Railway stations in my home area, Medway, Kent. I will start with my “Home” Station, Rainham.
The station was opened on 25th January 1858, as “Rainham & Newington”. It formed part of the London to Dover route of the “East Kent Railway”. The Station comprised of two platforms and two sidings adjacent to the “up” line platform (for those new to railway terminology, the “up” line is towards London, and the “down” away from London). The station was re-named “Rainham” in1862 when Newington station was built to the east. A further 400 yard siding was introduced beside the “down” platform in 1897, and a signal box was also added at this time, enabling the removal of the manual point system.
Ownership by the Southern Railway commenced in 1923. This was to bring a few cosmetic changes to the station furniture, as well as a footbridge next to the level crossing to the east.
The next major change would not come about until 1957. The “Kent Electrification Scheme” was initiated in the area throughout what was now known as the “Chatham Main Line”. This comprised on a 750V third rail system, with line speeds up to 75mph initially, although this was raised to 90mph around 1962.The advent of British Rail meant changes for Rainham, many not very good. The major change was the demolition of the original station building, which was replaced by a one story prefab :
New automated level crossing gates were installed in December 1972. At sometime in the early 1980’s the remaining siding was removed from behind the “down” platform.
When “Network South East” took over in 1986, the station was revamped in the familiar red and white chevrons, and in 1990 a new station building was opened. This one was a modern brick structure with a glazed arched roof, and was a vast improvement on the 1970’s prefab :
As part of the 2014-2017 “East Kent Re-Signalling Project”, it was decided that Rainham would have a bay platform added adjacent to platform one on the “up” side. This involved lengthening platform one considerably to accommodate 12 car trains in this new bay, which was given a designation of “Platform 0”. New pointwork to the west of the station was installed to service the platform, and new SPAD (Signal Passed At Danger) signal was placed at the eastern end of platform 1. The new platform arrangements are seen below, facing to the west with the new platform 0 to the left of the picture :
The future of Rainham Station is bright. Since 2009, “Javelin” 395 units have stopped here, giving access to high speed services to St Pancras International. In 2018/19, a Thameslink service is scheduled to start from the bay platform to Luton via Abbey Wood and St Pancras. This will enable passengers to access the new Crossrail “Elizabeth Line” via Abbey Wood.
Pictures used in this piece are not my own, but can be found (as well as many others of the Station) in the following locations :
Rainham History – Rainham Station through the years
Rainham History – Rainham Station
A video I have taken of 37 800 travelling through Rainham Station can be found on my YouTube channel, just click the link below :
37 800 passes through Rainham Station
Thanks for reading, I’ll blog again soon.