The Sittingbourne & Kemsley Light Railway
This unique line was built in 1905 for the transportation of the raw materials required for the manufacture of paper and, of course, the finished product. The line which is built to a gauge of 2′ 6″, continues to use the steam engines and rolling stock that were supplied to operate the railway in its working life prior to preservation in 1969 – fifty years ago this year.
How many other railways can claim that they operate the original engines on part of the original line with original rolling stock? The staff are not original but are all volunteers and new members are always welcome.
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The Railway is now closed until 31st March (Mothering Sunday) but that doesn’t mean there is nothing happening until then – we will be working every weekend and Wednesday. You can come along and help at one of our Work Weekends. Our 2019 timetable has now been published and can be downloaded here or click on the leaflet cover photo.
In 2017 we joined the Wheels of Time initiative to encourage children aged 5 to 11 to visit and explore heritage sites across Kent to earn exclusive badges and Kent Children’s University credits and we are offering this again this year.
Wheels of Time has expanded again to include more museums and heritage sites, including Elham Valley Railway Museum which houses the magnificent scale model of Cheriton Eurotunnel terminal, a replica signal box and its own miniature railway.
Children complete an activity sheet and search Kemsley Down for the answers, it will be available throughout this season and requires a visit of at least two hours to complete.
We are currently running four fundraising campaigns:
- the SOS Campaign is raising money to improve facilities at Sittingbourne Viaduct station
- through Premier Parts we are offering you the chance to buy components to return steam locomotive Premier to service in 2020 for the Railway’s Golden Anniversary of Public Trains, in as close to original condition as possible
- the Alpha Fund to raise money to cosmetically restore Alpha ahead of full restoration in the late 2020s by today’s younger members.
Please note that our postcode for Sat. Nav. users is ME10 2XD – click here for directions to Sittingbourne Viaduct station.
We will try to run to the timetable, on the days shown and use steam locomotives but reserve the right to change these for operational reasons, without notice.