Westerham railway station

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Template:Infobox UK disused station thumb in relation to other railway lines in Kent]] Westerham railway station served the village of Westerham in Kent from 1881 until its closure in 1961.

History

No railway was ever constructed all the way between Sevenoaks and Redhill to parallel what is now the A25 road and the Pilgrims' Way. Reasons for this may include: a) the Redhill to Tonbridge Line had been built quite early in railway history and served the settlements between Redhill and Godstone, b) the difficult choice between boggy land in the valley bottom and the gradients encountered on the A25 route at Limpsfield and Nutfield, c) the "pull" of London which meant that the emphasis was on radial routes from the capital.

However in 1881 the Westerham Valley Railway Company built the Westerham Valley Branch Line from the South Eastern Main Line at Dunton Green to Westerham with one intermediate station at Brasted. The branch was built as single track with provision for double track as an ambitious extension to Oxted was envisaged. The South Eastern Railway took over the company soon after construction, itself becoming part of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway in 1899. The Southern Railway took over responsibility for the line upon the railway grouping in 1923, followed by the Southern Region of British Railways upon nationalisation in 1948.

The line was ostensibly closed in 1961 due to low patronage<ref name="subbrit">Subterranean Britannica's page on Westerham railway station - Nick Catford - Accessed 8 September 2007</ref> and was the subject of a revival/preservation attempt which was scuppered by plans for the M25 which called for the use of much of the line.<ref name="subbrit"/> The Westerham Valley Railway Association had succeeded in obtaining a lease of Westerham Station from British Rail in April 1962 and had carried out maintenance works. However, this was no avail when, faced with the determination of Kent County Council to realise the construction of the M25, the Association was unable to meet the costs of constructing an overbridge for the motorway at Chevening and the Council promptly in-filled the section, effectively cutting the line in two. The station buildings demolished and track lifted by March 1967.

Present day

The Westerham Flyer, the Class H 0-4-4T No. 31518 locomotive which pulled the morning trains on the last day of service on Saturday 26 October 1961, is remembered in the name of the industrial estate which covers the footprint of the former station site and goods yard. "The Flyers Way Industrial Estate", served by "The Flyers Way" road, is made up of six light industrial units and backs on to original railway cottages. There is no plaque to commemorate the station's history, the only reminder of it being the base of the goods yard crane which is situated on a grass verge near the entrance to the site. It is, however, possible to trace the line of the trackbed eastwards around the site, past the railway cottages on an embankment and into nearby allotments.

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Gallery

Other stations

  • Brasted
  • Chevening Halt
  • Dunton Green

See also

  • List of closed railway stations in Britain

References

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External links

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Template:Closed stations Kent