Continuing my look at stations in the Medway area, this time I shall look at a small station on the Medway Valley line – Cuxton.
Cuxton Station was opened in 1856, and from the outset had two lines. Two platforms served by an level crossing at the south end of the station allowed passengers to travel to Maidstone to the south, and Strood to the North. In 1862, a signal box was erected adjacent to this level crossing, and is still there today (2018)
In 1931 a small siding was opened to the south of the station, trailing off the “down” line, which served a national business (Besto Co.) making fruit baskets. This was followed in 1939 with a goods loop installed to the north of the station. Unfortunately, none of these sidings survive today, both having been removed by the end of 1990.
A footbridge was installed at the south end of the station in 1961, adjacent to the level crossing and the Signal box. A note about the level crossing, as it is still manually closed by the signalman at the time of this Blog (2018). A really rare sight, and (unfortunately) I will assume this will become automated at some time in the future.
Two views from Cuxton in 2016 follow. The first shows a light engine class 66, travelling on the “down” line towards Maidstone. This view is to the north, and the bridges across the M2 can be seen, the nearest one being the HS1 line.
The second view is to the south, showing the signal box, overbridge and level crossing, as well as a stone train travelling on the “up” towards Strood.
Currently at Cuxton, there is only a PERTIS (permit to travel) machine installed here, the majority of the station buildings being disused for many years. The station is served at this time by Southeastern, with 2 trains per hour (northbound “up” to Strood, southbound “down” to Maidstone (1 Tph continues to Paddock Wood, the other to Tonbridge). (correct as of June 2018)
A few freight trains run though the day, to or via Hoo Junction (to the north) or to the south, some of which come from or go to ARC sidings just outside Allington in Maidstone. Freight is mainly hauled by class 66 locomotives, although some class 70’s have also been seen on the line.
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That’s all for now, thanks for reading and I’ll blog again soon.