9th September 2006
Branch Line Society
Medway Ports Railtour
|Locos Used||66026 & 66201|
1Z84 : Ealing Broadway to Dungeness
1Z85 : Dungeness to Dollands Moor
1Z86 : Dollands Moor to Chatham Docks
1Z87 : Chatham Docks to Queenborough Yard
1Z88 : Queenborough Yard to Ealing Broadway
|66201 (1)||Ealing Broadway - Acton Wells Jn - Mitre Bridge Jn - Kensington Olympia - Latchmere Jn - Longhedge Jn - Voltaire Road Jn - Shepherds Lane Jn - Brixton - Herne Hill - Sydenham Hill - Beckenham Junction - Bromley South - Bickley Jn - Orpington - Sevenoaks - Tonbridge - Paddock Wood - Headcorn - Ashford International - Appledore - Dungeness|
|66026 (2)||Dungeness - Appledore - Ashford International|
|66201 (1)||Ashford International - Westenhanger - Dollands Moor Freight Yard (5)|
|66026 (2)||Dollands Moor - Westenhanger - Ashford East Jn - Ashford International (6) - Lenham - Maidstone East - Barming - Otford Jn - Swanley - St Mary Cray Jn - Chislehurst - Grove Park - Lee Spur Jn - Lee Loop Jn - Sidcup - Dartford - Gravesend - Strood - Rochester - Gillingham (East) Down Main (Gillingham L.C. Sig. ET 25) (7)|
|66201 (1)||Gillingham (East) Down Main - Chatham Docks (Bridge Road Dock Gate)|
|66026 (2)||Chatham Docks - Gillingham - Rainham - Sittingbourne Western Jn - Sittingbourne Middle Jn - Swale - Queenborough - (via line 1) - Queenborough Yard Down Sidings (former Pier Branch) (8)|
|66201 (1)||Queenborough Yard Down Sidings - Queenborough - Sittingbourne Middle Jn - Sittingbourne Western Jn - Rainham - Gillingham - Rochester - Sole Street - Swanley - Bickley Jn - Bromley South - Beckenham Junction - Crystal Palace - West Norwood - Tulse Hill - Herne Hill - (reverse of outward route) - Ealing Broadway|
(1) 66026 on rear.
(2) 66201 on rear.
(3) Train originally booked to travel from Tonbridge via a pick up at Hastings, (11:04 ~ 11:06), but as the train could not reverse at Appledore to gain access to the Dungeness branch, due to signalling constraints, it was timed to continue beyond Appledore to Ashford (12:01 ~ 12:11 reverse, & Dungeness 13:18 ~ 13:40), this added too much time resulting in an unacceptable finish time (22:25). NJ (Gas) Hill comments: The request to run direct from Tonbridge to Ashford to save "at least an hour" was initially refused by Network Rail (too short a notice, despite the fact NR did not issue the timings to EWS until the Monday late afternoon, just 4½ days before the tour) but was subsequently granted following the involvement of Stephen Cornish, Network Rails' National Charter Train Business Manager. Booked passengers were made aware of the revision and this resulted in some who had initially cancelled to reinstate themselves (the loss of 4 passengers was more than made up by late bookings received)..
(4a) The original plan to have a pick up, (and set down), at Brixton was refused due to being followed closely by two Eurostars and Kensington Olympia was substituted instead.
(4b) The original plan to have a set down at Clapham Junction was refused due to inadequate length of platform, making the route via Crystal Palace and Tulse Hill unnecessary, but the request to run direct from Bromley South to Brixton was refused.
(5) Although booked to continue through Dollands Moor Sidings to the 'G Neck', this was prevented by 92011 "Handel" + 92013 "Puccini" departing Line 5 heading for Europe on a steel train. NJ (Gas) Hill comments: Our guard and driver had reminded the yard Control of what the train was supposed to to do, but eventually we were reversed, and returned onto NR metals 7 minutes late (EWS have been required by NR to explain the delay in case it is necessary to attribute blame for delay to other, SET, services - hence the decision of the yard staff to send the train away; reason given was that sticking brake problems were delaying the steel train and that was inhibiting the move the tour was supposed to make for longer than the time it could be allowed). It is known that some passengers were disappointed (especially since the BLS tour two years earlier succeeded in reaching the G Neck buffers) but they can be assured that strong representations were made to the train crew, albeit overruled.
(6) Signalling problems in the Ashford area prevented the train crossing to platform 6 and continuing along the "Maidstone Relief Line" to Ashford 'A' Jn as booked. NJ (Gas) Hill comments: The booked route was as requested in the tour specification and also as given in the Wednesday version of the schedule issued by Network Rail however, to put this into perspective, during each visit to Ashford there were clearly problems impeding normal workings, let alone the railtour. The unscheduled stop and late departure on the first visit being blamed on track circuit problems which were stated to be affecting all routes, the second visit requiring being authorised past a red signal to access the station. In the circumstances it is simply not possible for a charter promoter to demonstrate that decisions on regulating train movements by a Signalling Centre such as Ashford, which has to keep things moving over a wide area, were "wrong". Sorry, but this is the sort of exigiency which is covered by the statement always included in the letters sent out with railtour tickets viz: "Whilst every effort will be made to run the tour as advertised, do remember that the Society cannot accept liability for variations on the day imposed by the actions of other parties". Those passengers disappointed on the day can however be assured that it was a disappointment shared.
(7) It was originally intended to reverse the train on Gillingham Down Loop (Rec) to gain access to the Chatham Docks branch. It was deemed, (by the Operating Supervisor at Gillingham), to be easier to arrange reversal for the Dockyard branch on the Main Line and in the wider interest of punctuality and operational efficiency this advice was accepted.
(8) Went right to the temporary red light placed as the limit for the tour, 10 yards from the buffers. Some sources have listed the stopping point for this tour as "Queenborough Shipbuilding Yard" this is however incorrect, even though it was also used by Network Rail in the timing schedule. Queenborough Yard - Down Sidings is the reference used in Quail, EWS/NR referred to the stopping point as Queenborough Yard/ Sidings. What is thought to be the last train down this branch, REC's tour of 24th September 1960 (also listed on this Website), reached Whiteways Crossing (where the Queenborough to Sheerness direct road, B2007, crossed the line) about 200 yards further on.
Sources : Alan Sheppard, Roj Fraser, NJ (Gas) Hill &
Timings (Booked & Actual)
(from Alan Sheppard)
|0.52||Acton West Jn||08/33||08/34||21/29||21/29||58.71|
|1.31||Acton Main Line||08/34½||08/37||21/27||21/28||58.12|
|1.37||Acton East||??/??||08/37½||??/??||21.21a ~ 21.27d||58.06|
|2.08||Acton Wells Jn||08/37||08/40||21/20||21/19||57.36|
|2.56||Willesden South West Sidings||08/39||08/44||21/18||21/17||56.68|
|3.31||Mitre Bridge Jn||08/53||08/46||21/14||21.13a ~ 21.14½d||56.13|
|3.61||North Pole Jn||08/54||08/47||21/11||21/10||55.63|
|5.59||Kensington Olympia||08.58a ~ 09.01d [P3]||08.52 ~ 09.00||21.05a ~ 21.07d [P2]||21.06 ~ 21.07||53.76|
|10.13||Voltaire Road Jn||09/12½||09/10||20/53||20/55½||49.32|
|10.68||Shepherds Lane Jn||09/13||09/12||20/52||20/54||48.57|
|11.74||Herne Hill||09/15 [P3]||09/13½||20/50 [P2]||20/51 [P1]||47.50|
|Tulse Hill||20/45 [P3]||20/47||46.44|
|Crystal Palace||20/37 [P1]||20/40||44.12|
|18.71||Bromley South||09.24a ~ 09.26d [P2]||09.24 ~ 09.26||20.25a ~ 20.27d [P3]||20.28 ~ 20.29||38.72|
|20.35||Bickley Jn||09/29||09.31a ~ 09.31½d||20/23||20/25||37.21|
|21.33||Petts Wood Jn||09/32||09/35|
|38.51||Tonbridge||10.08a ~ 10.10d [P2]||10.08½ ~ 10.10|
|43.71||Paddock Wood||10/20||10/17½ [DF]|
|65.17||Ashford International||10/43 [P1]||10c42a ~ 10c49d|
|73.57||Appledore||10t56 ~ 10t59||11.04 ~ 11.06|
|80.63||Lydd Town||11t27 ~ 11t32||11.37 ~ 11.49|
|Dungeness - British Energy||11.48 ~ 12.20||11.58 ~ 12.06|
|2.02||Lydd Town||12t29 ~ 12t34||12.21 ~ 12.24|
|9.08||Appledore||13t12 ~ 13t15||13.12 ~ 13.25|
|Ashford International||13.30 ~ 13.40 [P1]||13.44 ~ 13.47|
|Dollands Moor||13.57 ~ 14.17||14.02 ~ 14.23 [DM - Line 4]|
|10.15||Ashford East Jn||14/28||14/36|
|10.72||Ashford International||14.30 ~ 14.40 [P6]||14.37 ~ 14.39 [P2]|
|30.16||Maidstone East||15/05 [P1]||15/03|
|56.75||St Mary Cray Jn||15/50||15/45|
|61.43||Lee Spur Jn||16/04||15/58|
|61.56||Sig. L345||??||15c59 ~ 16c08|
|61.72||Lee Loop Jn||??||16/10|
|69.52||Crayford||16/31||16.26a ~ 16.29d|
|71.39||Dartford||16/36 [P3]||16/34½ [P4]|
|78.16||Gravesend||16/49 [DM]||16c49½a ~ 16c52d [P2]|
|85.60||Rochester Bridge Jn||17/09||17.03a ~ 17.06d|
|86.37||Rochester||??/?? [P3]||17p11a ~ 17p19d [P4]|
|Gillingham Down Loop (Rec)
(mileage for Gillingham LC Sig. ET 25)
|17.19 ~ 17.25||DIV [DM 17.27a ~ 17.34d]|
|Chatham Docks||17.45 ~ 18.00||17.41 ~ 17.53|
|0.65||Gillingham Down Sidings||18*10 ~ 18*18||17.58 ~ 18.16|
|8.39||Sittingbourne Western Jn||18/29||18/29|
|13.71||Queenborough||18*44 ~ 18*48||18/44|
|Queenborough Yard Down Sidings||18.53 ~ 19.10||18.51 ~ 19.01|
|0.24||Queenborough Jn||??/??||19.07a ~ 19.20d|
|0.37||Queenborough||19*15 ~ 19*27||19/22|
|5.70||Sittingbourne Western Jn||19/40||19/34|
|13.68||Gillingham (Kent)||19.51a ~ 19.53d||19.50 ~ 19.51 [P2]|
|16.59||Rochester Bridge Jn||20/00||19/58|
|36.42||St Mary Cray Jn||20/22||20/24|
Timings continue in first table.
Summary of Mileages (by Roj Fraser)
|Dungeness - Ashford International||17m 50ch|
|Dollands Moor Sidings - Gillingham LC||89m 02ch|
|Chatham Dockyard - Queenborough Yard Dn Sdgs||14m 29ch|
|Ealing Broadway - Dungeness||82m 66ch|
|Ashford International - Dollands Moor Sidings||10m 73ch|
|Gillingham LC - Chatham Dockyard||0m 72ch|
|Queenborough Yard Dn Sdgs - Ealing Broadway||59m 48ch|
Back to "The Railtour Files"