Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway

3 October 2009

A dry but windy day prompted a trip to Kent for a ride on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. The 15"-gauge railway was opened in 1927, extended to Dungeness in 1928.

As we wait for the 1200 departure from Hythe, on the next line WInston Churchill sits idling. A Canadian outline two-cylinder 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive designed by Henry Greenly and A.L.S. Richardson, it was built by the Yorkshire Engine Company in 1931.

Our train to New Romney is to be pulled by John Sutherland, a BO BO, 112bhp, 6-cylinder mainline diesel locomotive built in 1983

Preparing for departure.

Sara on board

At New Romney we had lunch in the station buffet, then explored the model railway exhibition. Up to 24 trains are in automatic operation on this large layout, which has some imaginative decoration...

Apparently this is a theme park, inspired by Jurassic Park. If you look closely, you can also see some other famous characters...

The TARDIS and two Daleks on the left, and that is Harry Potter on the right.

Back outside, and we have swapped the model turntable for the real thing.

Our 1409 train onwards to Dungeness comes into the station

We were pulled by Hurricane, a GN outline two-cylinder (formerly three-cylinder) 4-6-2 Pacific locomotive designed by Henry Greenly, and built by Davey Paxman & Co. in 1927

The old lighthouse at Dungeness, our next port of call. The Old Lighthouse is the fourth to be built here. It is a Grade II listed building, opened by the Prince of Wales in 1904, and was decommissioned in 1960.

Part-way up are these "sector lights". Ships approaching from the west would be able to see the green light from their starboard side and know that they were far enough away from the shingle banks to proceed safely. If any red light showed they should move further out to sea. The reverse applied to ships from the east.

Looking up the spiral staircase inside the lighthouse.

The main light at the top.

Looking out at the Dungeness peninsula.

From outside looking down on Huricane and its train, and across some of the 500 cuspate shingle ridges that form the headland, one of the largest in the world.

The two nuclear power stations that also share the peninsula.

The new lighthouse, built in the late 1950s to be further from the nuclear power stations.

It was very windy up here - gusts made movement difficult at times.

A ghostly Sara descends the stairs.

As we return behind Hercules to Hythe, the next train can just be seen running around the loop into Dungeness station.


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson