Lydd Town Station

(Photo 7 © Graham Smith)

The Lydd Railway Company's 11-mile branch to Dungeness opened to freight services in December 1881. Initially passenger trains terminated at Lydd. The line's promoters hoped that creating a rail link between London and Dungeness would lead to the development of 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. Many army trains travelled to Lydd where a private military railway system had a connection onto the main line.

The station boasted a passing loop served by Up and Down platforms, the latter having a signal box at its northern end. Behind the main station building was a goods yard with four sidings, as well as a turntable, water tower and facilities for cattle and coal. At its southern end was a level crossing although this was made largely redundant in the Sixties when a bridge was erected to carry construction traffic for the power station at Dungeness. Today, the only regular trains to pass the station carry nuclear waste.

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, taking it closer to the coast. On it was Lydd-on-Sea Station (with Halt added in 1954), resulting in Lydd being renamed Lydd Town.

The line's passenger traffic ceased in March 1967. The intervening years have witnessed the demolition of Lydd Town's northbound platform and signal box, removal of the passing loop and the main building's decline into dereliction.

Graham Smith's photo is taken from Flickr and used under this Creative Commons licence.)

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