Along The Railway Line | South East Mainline | Hildenborough Railway Station

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.

Hildenborough Railway Station Kent

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.

Hildenborough Railway Station Kent

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.

Hildenborough Railway Station Kent

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.” ©

Along The Railway Line | South East Mainline | Headcorn Railway Station

Headcorn railway station

Headcorn was opened in 1842 by the South East Railway Company, initially as a terminus for the line as the extension to Dover had yet to be completed. The original station building was made of tongue and groove timber, similar to that at Pluckley, and a goods facility was also provided here.

This goods facility was provided by a single track which intercepted both running lines and led to sidings and a turntable on the Ashford bound side. In 1905, the Kent and East Sussex railway extended to Headcorn, and its platform ran parallel with the London-bound side. The link to Headcorn remained until 1954 when it was closed due to unprofitability.

The fast central tracks you see here were actually the original running lines. They were put into this configuration in the 1920s when the station was rebuilt, with two new platforms and two new slow lines. The other track you see on your left, behind the London bound platform, is a goods loop installed for the channel tunnel freight trains. This view looking coast bound will enable you to see clearly see the divergence to the slow lines.

As well as the goods loop on the right, the new station building was opened in 1989. A neat red brick design, it is very pleasant, and is kept in good order by the station staff . The taxi rank and bus stop are located just outside the building, like the exterior the interior is very clean and functional

At time of writing passenger traffic is provided by class 375 electric multiple units

Station signage at Headcorn is great, detailing all there is to do around the area. This includes the “Big Cat Sanctuary” and “Biddenden vineyards”, which are a short bus ride away. As already noted, bus and taxi ranks outside the station building will help you do this.

The entry and exit figures for 2019-2020 were 610 226.

Headcorn has some excellent views for the enthusiast, as well as many other sites of interest away from the station. The newish station building is functional, and although not the original, does not look out of place.

Below is a link to a small video I filmed here in 2021.

Thanks for reading, and if you can :

“Get out there, get on the railway and see where it takes you” ©

Top Ten Least Used Railway 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 Railway 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 Railway 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.

Stations Near Me – 3 – Newington

One stop down east from Rainham (Kent) is the small station of Newington. Opened in 1862 by the London, Chatham and Dover railway. At this time, only a double track went through the station. Serviced by a small one storey station building, which was located on the “up” side, the station was created mainly to service the many agricultural premises in the village.

Three sidings were put in, controlled by a signal box on the “up” side. Goods traffic was supplied by the local farmers in the early years, and later when some of this land was used more industriously, coal was brought in to sustain the new industries.

This continued for many years, but it was the advent of electrification along the Chatham main line which would see significant developments. The track was quadrupled between Rainham and Newington, ending at the east of the station. This involved demolishing existing platforms, and replacing them with concrete structures. A metal bridge now spanned the platforms across the four tracks. Around 1962, the original station building was replaced by a prefab construction, which still remains today.

The following are two photographs. The first facing west, showing a DB class 66 with an engineers working coming on the “down” from Rainham.

Next, facing east, a 395 “Javelin” is passing through at speed on the inner express lines.

If you want to read more on the history of Newington Railway Station, please visit the excellent Kent Rail website.


Please visit RainhamRailEnthusiast on YouTube

Please visit RainhamRailEnthusiast on Facebook

Please visit RainhamRailEnthusiast on Instagram


Many thanks for reading and I’ll blog again soon.