Milton Range Halt

 

This was one of various later halts opened by the SE&CR in Kent, but it preceded its North Kent Line counterparts at Stone Crossing and Swanscombe by nearly two and a half years. It was one of three ''halts'' opened on the Gravesend Marshes on 1st July 1906, the other two stops being ''Milton Road Halt'' and ''Denton Halt'', both of which were positioned westward to it. What all these aforementioned SE&CR stations had in common was their timber construction, devoid of shelters, and for those on the Gravesend Marshes, they were very remote. Milton Road Halt's raison d'etre was to serve the adjacent military rifle range, but the halts of Milton Road and Denton were opened primarily to provide the marshes with railway connections to the town centre and the Hoo Peninsula - only the Gravesend to Port Victoria (Grain) push-pull trains ever stopped there. Conversely, the latterly-conceived Stone Crossing and Swanscombe were opened on the commencement of a ''railmotor'' service in November 1908.

 

Milton Road Halt was closed on 1st May 1915 as a wartime economy; it was merely half a mile east of Gravesend Central in the first place, compounded by the fact that Denton was also just down the line, in the eastward direction. Milton Range was the scene of a disastrous train collision on 21st August 1922, when a Strood-bound train plunged into the rear of a departmental formation, the latter of which was stabled alongside the platform. Five fatalities were resultants of the accident, whilst much of the wreck had flipped over the platform and into the water of the adjacent canal. Ten years later, on 17th July 1932, the halt was removed from the scheduled timetable as a stop and thereafter, was used on an ''as and when required'' basis. The wooden structure lasted for the best part of fifty years, it being completely replaced by prefabricated concrete in 1954, concurrent with nearby Denton. At this time, both halts were served only by the push-pull service from Grain and Allhallows and when this ceased completely on 4th December 1961, Denton Halt closed. The structure was subsequently demolished, but that of Milton Range remained, the halt having not officially closed. The Ministry of Defence was apparently given last disposal of the station, and the site remained virtually complete until 2008. In that year, the ''up'' platform was demolished and, in 2009, the ''down'' platform followed, marking the end of an interesting railway relic out on Gravesend Marshes.

 


20th December 2005

 

Starting the pictorial off with an action scene, No. 465004 is observed forming the rear of a Gillingham to Charing

Cross service, as it breezes past the platforms. David Glasspool

 


20th December 2005

 

No. 465004 has been and gone, now affording an unobstructed view of the concrete platforms. As this station

was just a request stop, it was never provided with the concrete shelters Denton Halt had when rebuilt in 1954.

David Glasspool

 


20th December 2005

 

A careful hop across the line by means of the public foot crossing reveals the bridge which crosses the remains of

the Thames & Medway Military Canal. The firing range is beyond this, in the background. David Glasspool

 


 

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