View Full Version : Archived: Folkestone harbour railway station.Jan 2011

23-03-2011, 04:26 PM
Folkestone harbour Railway station has a history which goes back many years.

Its most famous hour was during the first and second world wars when it was the last bit of England some men would ever see, a memorial has been placed to one of the men lost ; PTE Fred hardy 38236 who was born in Thongsbridge near Holmfirth and served with 5th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment. Killed 18 September 1918. A poem placed on the wall to his memory (written by Wilfred Owen) reads

The Send-off

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.

Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men's are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.

Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.
From wikipedia:

"A branch line was built in 1844 leaving the main line at Folkestone Junction and was double tracked ending with a viaduct across the harbour itself. In 1847, a swing bridge allowed the line to reach the southern pier[2] and, in 1848, the line was passed by the Board of Trade for passenger use.[3] The line was electrified at the same time as the main line during the "Kent Coast Electrification - Stage 2" in June 1961, and passenger trains were formed of Electric multiple units. Freight services were withdrawn on 17 August 1968.[2]

In 1994, the opening of the Channel Tunnel led to the majority of ferry operators moving to other ports in the South East, with the result that only two services per day were arriving at Folkestone Harbour, to connect with the Hoverspeed SeaCat services. When these were moved to Ramsgate, the station closed to ordinary rail traffic in 2001.

Sometime after 2001, the line was singled. "

After the Ferry service was withdrawn in 2000 the harbour station has gradually fallen into a sorry state of repair, there have been plans muted to demolish the viaduct to allow the creation of a new marina. A preservation group has been set up to try and save this historical link.

A 1905 plan of the layout:


A timetable for the boat train:


A sealink ferry moored at the harbourside in better times:


Heres my photos, hastily snapped as i was pressed for time and unedited:

The entance to the station, with the harbour tower in the distance:

A close up of the sign, VSOE stands for Venice Simplon Orient Express. Another service the harbourside has lost...

On the platform, The station may never see another train again now Network rail has mothballed the line and cut some of the rails.......

The building opposite is the hoverspeed terminal, abandoned since 2000 and in a bad way...

There was a memorial to a soldier who left the station during ww1 and was killed in action, many left here never to return...


Looking out over the viaduct past the signal box..

The entrance to the former ferry terminal..

The harbour viaduct..

Remanants of former days still survive, a platform sign in network south east colours and a southern railway platform scale are reminders of busier days...


One last look up the platform...



beam assisted
23-03-2011, 04:28 PM
Interesting report mate

23-03-2011, 08:28 PM
Great report fella!

23-03-2011, 08:30 PM
Mate I do like this and would like to visit myself.

23-03-2011, 09:21 PM
Did'nt you goin the terminals?

24-03-2011, 02:27 PM
The terminal building was well and truly fooked, and i didnt have much time, 15 mins or so to bag the entire thing.

24-03-2011, 02:28 PM
That's really interesting fella, nice work mate. :thumb

29-03-2011, 10:02 PM
Very nice!

One of my mates went on a train that visited this station before it closed.

30-03-2011, 06:50 PM
Really good!

30-03-2011, 08:53 PM
I really like stuff like this :thumb

01-04-2011, 11:23 PM
If I was there I'd love to get some shots on the rails!