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Sandling Junction extension of the RH&DR Kent

Discussion in 'Miniature Railways' started by lynbarn, May 11, 2014.

  1. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

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    Hi all


    I was just wondering if anyone on here had any details of this proposed extension to the Romney railway, I know the RH&D brought two 4-8-2 tender locos for that extension. But, I was wondering if there where any other details out there that any one knew of, such as proposed layouts or even the route?


    Regards


    Colin Rainsbury
     
  2. Thunderer008

    Thunderer008 New Member

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    Hi Colin

    As far as I know, Hercules and Samson were originally ordered for shingle ballast traffic and not for any proposed extension. The ballast traffic failed to take off as anticipated, so this, combined with the fact that their long wheelbase caused problems on the original small radius Greenly points, meant that Nos 5 and 6 saw less and less work through the 1930s (and Samson was nearly sold by the railway).

    The Sandling extension was a proposal from the post-Howey era in the 1980s. Detailed information, including a route map, can be found on this link, where Derek Smith, who used to be the railway's marketing manager, has kindly shared some of his archive material.

    http://s9.zetaboards.com/MRW_Forums/topic/7330680/1/

    Hope this helps,

    David
     
  3. lynbarn

    lynbarn Member

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    Thanks David,

    For your help, you know I was sure it was planned much earlier than that, just shows what tricks the mind can play.

    Regards

    Colin
     
  4. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    I must admit that I thought the Sandling plans were pre war. Sadly I no longer have the book in which I read about it.
     
  5. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Nat Pres stalwart

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    Quoting Wikipedia :
    "In the late 1920s, shortly after the line opened, there were proposals for an extension from Hythe to Sandling (2 miles (3.2 km) away) to meet mainline services at Sandling Junction. It was with this idea that the 4-8-2 locomotives Hercules and Samson were ordered.[14] The project, which involved steep inclines, was abandoned.

    In the 1980s, the directors returned to the proposals and had detailed surveys drawn. Again, consideration was given to motive power, with new locomotives discussed. Although still called the "Sandling Extension", the 1980s plan was for a single-track line from the Willop, 2 miles (3.2 km) short of Hythe, to provide a more gentle route to Sandling Park and on to Sandling Junction, and would therefore have been a branch line rather than an actual extension to the existing mainline. Once again, the project was abandoned."

    The usual caveats apply.
     
  6. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    From my earliest childhood memories Herculese and Sampson have always been referred to as engines for the Sanding extension and I am talking about 1950s. I can't lay my hands on a book on RH&DR Ithought I had to confirm. Having two large engines built for balsat trafic does not ring true. The Southern had balast extraction sewn up on the Dungeness and New Romney branches. Shingle and ash were used as track balast up to the crash near Sevenoaks of a River Tank. If I find the book I will check what it says re these two locos
     
  7. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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  8. Thunderer008

    Thunderer008 New Member

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    Hi Dave

    It would be interesting to know more about this - the railway's own sources are quite clear that the 4-8-2s were ordered for ballast traffic and not for any proposed extension up the hill to Sandling.

    Per the linked thread above, the railway's engineer Henry Greenly dismissed the idea of an extension to Sandling as impractical when the railway was first being designed and built.

    The late John Snell (the RH&DR's Manager for many years) wrote in his definitive history 'One Man's Railway' that "the County Council had asked that facilities for ballast traffic be made available, so two engines were modified for freight working, with smaller driving wheels and a 4-8-2 wheel arrangement". The Railway World Special (Ian Allan) of 1985 on the RH&DR adds the detail that the ballast traffic was expected to derive "from the quarry at West Hythe". Snell also explains in some detail how the ballast traffic didn't actually develop until 1937, then booming in the late 40s as part of the post-war reconstruction efforts and eventually running down in the 50s. It's a bit ironic that the photos of the ballast trains in the book show them being pulled by Northern Chief and Winston Churchill, rather than by the 4-8-2s.

    The excellent 'Locomotives of the RH&DR" (well worth a read if you're interested in why the Greenly Pacifics and Mountains are such cracking good machines) by Tony Crowhurst and Richard Scarth is also clear that the 4-8-2s were ordered in 1925 "for the haulage of heavy shingle ballast trains".

    As a bit of a Romney anorak, I'd be very interested in anything that supplements or contradicts the above.

    David
     
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  9. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    I had a look at a very old 1in map and agree with Greenly that conecting with Sandling looks impracticle. The Sandling branch is clearly shown and is east of the town with the RHDR to the west.

    I am still looking for that book

    Dave
     
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  10. marshall5

    marshall5 Well-Known Member

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    I was last at the RH&DR was in 1967 & 1968 and was told about the Sandling extension and the 4-8-2's then. IIRC it was a pre-war proposal, maybe it got resurrected in the 80's? Ray.
     
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  11. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    That's the way I read it..
     
  12. timmydunn

    timmydunn Member

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  13. 45669

    45669 Part of the furniture

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    Well I for one, and my wife makes two, that would have welcomed a Sandling extension / branch when we went down to the RHDR last Friday. But as things are, we had to bounce around on the 102 bus for the best part of an hour from Folkestone to New Romney; a bus that can't even be bothered to go via Folkestone Central Station. So that meant a long walk from the station to the bus stop, or a connecting bus to the bus station.

    And of course, the same in reverse on Monday morning.

    TTFN,

    Ron.
     
  14. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The proposal did rear it's head again. IIRC, it was in the aftermath of the Collins/Catt era, when the idea of upping stumps completely and heading for the abandoned Cowes-Newport formation was floated too. Winning the year round schools train back then helped to beat the wolf back from the door.

    My most recent experiences of the line suggest it's a minor miracle none of the idiot children who trespass on the line to throw stones at the trains at the Hythe end have been injured or worse.

    Mr Geenley's fine loco stud, plus the CanPacs and Black Prince remain my principle reason for the odd return.
     
  15. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    Well, buses may not be the most comfortable mode of travel but we should be grateful they are available. When I went to America two years ago, I discovered that many heritage railways there are simply not accessible by public transport. I tried to visit the
    Redwood Valley Railway in California, for example, and discovered that the nearest bus stop was (IIRC) about a five-mile walk from the railway, and over an isolated mountain trail to boot. So if - like me - you can't cope with driving on the right, and you can't afford to spend a fortune on taxi fares, you're stuffed!

    Sent from my SM-A125F using Tapatalk
     
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  16. ross

    ross Well-Known Member

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    So, here I am, 5,000 miles from Blighty, 8 hours with my knees in my ears at the poor people end of a 747, and just a five mile shank from one of the finest 15" gauge lines that the states has to offer..... nah, I'll give it a miss
     
  17. SpudUk

    SpudUk Well-Known Member

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    In fairness Ross I not sure I could yomp my disabled 5 year old over a five mile long mountain trail, even if it was for a the finest 15" railway America had to offer
     
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  18. MuzTrem

    MuzTrem Member

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    Admittedly, with better planning and preparation on my part it might have been possible to make the walk - but it wasn't until I arrived at said bus stop that I realised how far the railway actually was from it. I hadn't come prepared for a long mountain walk - in particular, I hadn't brought any water, and it was a sweltering hot Californian day. I was also advised that mobile signal on the trail was intermittent at best, so I might not be able to call for help if I got into trouble...it just didn't seem sensible.

    As I say, maybe not totally insurmountable if you are able-bodied and plan your trip with military precision, but the basic point still stands - most UK railways are MUCH better served by public transport than in the US. The RVR was by no means the only railway that I wanted to do but had to give up on due to lack of car transport.

    Sent from my SM-A125F using Tapatalk
     
  19. SirChad

    SirChad New Member

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    Well I for one, and my wife makes two, that would have welcomed a Sandling extension / branch when we went down to the RHDR last Friday. But as things are, we had to bounce around on the 102 bus for the best part of an hour from Folkestone to New Romney; a bus that can't even be bothered to go via Folkestone Central Station. So that meant a long walk from the station to the bus stop, or a connecting bus to the bus station.

    And of course, the same in reverse on Monday morning.

    Or you could just walk the 1.5 miles from Sandling - Hythe, like I did yesterday (and on previous occasions). There's a continuous pavement along a very pleasant country road (when the sun's shining). The only disadvantage is the steep climb out of Hythe on the return trip. Allow 30-40 minutes.

    Thanks to everybody on the RH&DR for an excellent 95th anniversary gala yesterday - well organised and well delivered. I hope to walk out from Sandling again for the centenary.
     

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