With the formation of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway Management Committee in 1899, travelling conditions for passengers began to improve on the Westerham branch line. There were new locomotives in lined Brunswick green and new six-wheeled carriages as well. The elderly Cudworth engines previously used on the branch were replaced with James Stirling’s class ...
This aerial photograph taken circa 1947 shows the railway with the ‘Buffer Depot’ of a large Nissen Hut and several sheds just visible under the wing-strut of the plane. Buffer Depots were where rationed food supplies, building materials and fuel were stored. An important element of the branch line’s social and commercial history, depots such ...
Clearly an example of ‘time on your hands’, the attractive station garden opposite the platform at Brasted. With one train an hour, plenty of time to do the weeding.
The proximity to the M25 is clearly seen here. The station building at Brasted stood where the hard-shoulder is now and the trackbed would be under the inside-lane. The goods yard site is now in private ownership as a gated storage area.
In amongst the undergrowth right beside the M25 on the site of Brasted Station goods yard, the remains of the coal staithe posts, though the boards have rotted away. As well as fuel for the locomotives, coal was sold from this yard to residents from the village by George Alderson, the local coal merchant who ...
At Brasted, a house was built adjacent to the station for the Station Master, as the site was fairly remote, being a good half-mile away from the village in a somewhat wooded area. Built in 1883, the cost of the house at that time was £560.
Brasted station master Mr. E.W. Howard poses with two of his staff around 1912. By 1924 Brasted and Westerham had lost their station masters and the whole branch was now managed by the Dunton Green station master Frederick William Brockman.
A 1903 advertisement for Benjamin Horton, the local coal and timber merchant. Horton’s coal office still survives on the old station site at the edge of London Road, currently housing a barber’s shop (2019).
An afternoon train photographed at Brasted station on the last day of services, October 28th 1961. Adorned with a Union Jack, someone had chalked on the boiler plate door “Farewell to the Flyer 1881 – 1961” the Westerham Valley Railway, come and gone in only eighty years…
On October 30th 2011 the Spa Valley Railway simulated the final days of the Westerham Valley Railway to commemorate 50 years since the closure of the branch line. Here a train of four coaches recreates the final day of services, Saturday October 28th 1961 appearing to chuff its way past Chevening Halt heading for Brasted. ...
During the early 1960s there was an attempt to reopen the line by a body who formed themselves as the Westerham Valley Railway Association. Here we see two members of the ‘ganging team’ working on a plate-layer’s trolly in 1962.
Introduced in the early 1930s, ‘H’ Class locomotives were popular amongst the crews from Tonbridge shed. Being of 0-4-4T wheel configuration and tank-engines (no tender), they were stable and easy to manoeuvre in both directions, there being no turntable on the line.
This locomotive worked out of Tonbridge shed between January 1950 to October 1951 and then again between June 1955 to June 1961. It was ‘Push-and-Pull’ fitted in December 1949. This meant the driver could operate the controls (Regulator, Reverser and Brake) from a compartment at the back end of the train, meaning time was saved ...
This locomotive worked out of Tonbridge shed between July 1953 to June 1956 and then again between March 1961 to the end of operations in October 1961. It was ‘Push-and-Pull’ fitted in June 1953 for branch-line use.
The ‘tablet’ was part of an electrical blocking system used to ensure there was only one moving locomotive on the branch-line at any moment in time. The large loop handle of the tablet made catching easier if this had to happen while the train was moving.
The tree line moving away from the main-line at Dunton Green is the overgrown track-bed of the Westerham branch-line photographed in September 2017. Fifty-five years without a weed-killing train produces a lot of growth.
‘Q’ class 0-4-4 tank-engine number 136 is about to leave Westerham pulling a ‘birdcage’ set of coaches. This peculiar term was used to describe coaches with the little top-light window that the guard would use with a periscope viewer to look at the state of signals ahead – not so easy for the engine crew ...
This steam railmotor number 3 from Kitson of Leeds was introduced to the branch in April 1906, and seen here waiting at Westerham. In conjunction with the introduction of the railmotor, an unstaffed halt was built at Chevening accessed from the roadbridge by a steep flight of steps. Chevening halt had a short platform but ...
Retained as a convenient place for the bus to stop off the road, this is the site of the station forecourt, as shown on the adjacent 1896 map. L.B. denotes a letterbox which is still there albeit of modern design.
Bill Curtis: “…I travelled with my father on the Westerham branch in the summer of 1959 and as we were the only passengers boarding the empty train at Dunton Green, we were invited by the driver to accompany him and his fireman in the cab for the journey – what a treat! Suffice it to ...
All looking rather gloomy and unloved, the goods shed, crane and station building opposite the Crown Hotel. The railway lasted eighty years, while the Crown just about made its centenary before it too, was closed and pulled down. June Ingram “…there was a long bus strike in the late 1950s and I was at the Tech ...