Dungeness Station

Dungeness Station

The Lydd Railway Company’s 11-mile branch to Dungeness opened to freight services in December 1881. Initially passenger trains terminated at Lydd; it was 1st April 1883 before Dungeness Station was finally ready for business. Facilities there were basic with just a single platform upon which was a small arched-roof shed accommodating a ticket office, waiting room and toilets. A run-round loop was provided, together with a siding that served the adjacent the lighthouse.

The line’s promoters had hoped that creating a rail link between London and Dungeness would lead to its development as a port from which cross-channel steamers could operate. But this grand plan failed to materialise and the branch was left to stagnate. It did though carry some shingle traffic as well as flints for the Potteries where they were used to glaze china.

In the 1930s, the construction of a holiday camp boosted the line’s fortunes somewhat. The Southern Railway took the opportunity to realign the New Romney branch – which left the Dungeness line three miles from its terminus – taking it closer to the coast. This enabled the new Lydd-on-Sea Station to serve the community at Dungeness, bringing about the closure of Dungeness Station in 1937. The branch did however remain open for goods until the early 1950s.

Today the route remains open as far as the former New Romney Junction where a nuclear waste loading facility has been established. A further half-mile of trackbed has become the main access road to the nearby power station. But little remains of Dungeness Station – the shelter has gone although its concrete base remains visible.

Sept 2011