Kent Rail

East Kent Railway

Railway Review

 

Today the line runs between Shepherdswell (''Shepherds Well'' to quote British Rail) and Eythorne, being two miles in length. Whilst retaining a single steam locomotive, which was formerly a workhorse at Snowdon Quarry, the railway's stock is predominantly of the electric and diesel type, which certainly differs the East Kent Railway from many other heritage sites. The railway's nature of acquiring former Southern Region electric traction has allowed for some real gems to be preserved, items of stock once a very common sight on British Rail trunk lines, but now history. These special items include no less than two Motor Luggage Vans (MLV), of which formerly fronted Dover Boat Trains, in addition to a 2-EPB (Electro Pneumatic Braking) EMU, once an every day sight on the Kent commuter lines, and a 4 Cep unit, part of a class introduced for the Kent Coast Electrification Project. To augment the presence of this interesting motive power, the railway currently houses the British Leyland Prototype coach of 1982, which can trace its design back to that of a bus! It is currently on loan from the Nene Valley Railway and is awaiting restoration. The railway is open for viewing 362 days a year, with the added bonus of no entrance fee being charged, although trains only run on scheduled timetabled dates. The majority of the railway's stock is stored out in the open at Shepherdswell, much in the platform lines, thus is readily viewable, although some items are stored further up the line.

 


 

East Kent Railway

One platform face is provided at Shepherdswell, where one of two Class 101 DMUs on site is seen

stabled. Behind the DMU is an additional siding, where the railway's Motor Luggage Vans are

often seen. David Glasspool

 


 

East Kent Railway

Motor Luggage Vans Nos .68002 and 68001 are seen on the left and right respectively. The latter

arrived at the East Kent Railway in mid-1999, whilst its counterpart is a much more recent arrival,

coming to the site in February 2004. David Glasspool

 


 

East Kent Railway

On show on 4th November 2004, in the adjacent siding to the platform line, was British Leyland coach

prototype No. RDB977091. Built it 1982, it formerly appeared in cross-country services between Manchester

and Brighton. It re-uses the underframe of an ex-Midland Region Mk 1 coach, whilst its body replicates that

of a bus. It was finally preserved by the Nene Valley Railway and subsequently loaned to the East Kent for

use as a static buffet vehicle. David Glasspool

 



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