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Westerham Branch

The Westerham branch was built in 1881 by the Westerham Valley Railway Company from the South Eastern Main Line at Dunton Green to Westerham, with an intermediate station at Brasted. The branch was single track throughout, though provision was made for a double track line. At one time it was hoped to extend the line on to Oxted, though this never became a reality. The railway was worked by the South Eastern Railway from the opening on 7th July 1881, and was taken over by the large company the following month, subsequently becoming part of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway. In April 1906 a second halt was opened at Chevening, coinciding with the introduction of a steam railmotor service to compete with electric tramways. This was not a success and three or four years layer the line reverted to steam locomotives. The Southern Railway tried again in 1936 using the steam railmotor that had performed so dismally on the Devil's Dyke branch, but this was even more of a failure than the earlier railmotors.

The branch was never doubled and suffered a decline in traffic as a result of road competition and high fares, was excluded from the Kent Coast Electrification plans of the mid-sixties and finally succumbed to closure with the last train running on 28th October 1961, probably the busiest day ever on the branch, the date of all bar the final the photographs on these pages.

 
H Class Nº31518 running into Dunton Green down main platform on the last day of operations on the Westerham Branch. Written on the smokebox and side tank is "Flyer 1891-1961".

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Dunton Green
 
Dunton Green Main line platforms of Dunton Green on the right, branch platform on the left.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
The building on the island platform serving the up main line and the branch, with Q1 Class Nº33029 partly obscuring the building. On the smokebox is written "Westerham Flyer, Last". Did time run out for writing "Day"?

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Dunton Green
 
Dunton Green Another view of the branch platform, with the Signalbox in the background.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
Nº31518 and stock waiting in the run-round loop adjacent to the branch platform.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Dunton Green
 
Brasted Halt Running into Brasted Halt, with its small goods yard to the left of the line.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
View along Brasted Halt's platform, from the train. The wooden station building here was a smaller version of the one provided at Westerham.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Brasted Halt
 
Brasted Halt View looking along Brasted Halt's platform from the other direction as the train departs.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

 
View looking back at Chevening Halt's platform, from the departing train.

photograph by Chris Knowles-Thomas

Brasted Halt

All photographs are copyright

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This page was created 8 July 2010

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