Welcome to the
Farningham  &  Eynsford
Local History Society
 
Publication Review
NINETEENTH CENTURY RAILWAY SCHEMES IN THE MIDDLE DARENT VALLEY
Wilfrid Duncombe
£3.00   A4, 34 pages, 1 illustration, 12 maps, published 1992

Over the years 1836 to 1875 a number of railway proposals were made. In 1836 the Central Kent Railway proposed a line from the Greenwich Railway at Deptford through the parishes of Bexley, the Crays, Sutton at Hone and the Darent Valley to Otford and on to the Mallings, Maidstone, Charing, Canterbury, Sandwich with docks to Sandown Castle. Several modifications were made. In 1845, the Great Kent Atmospheric Railway had another proposal again from Deptford via Bromley, the Darent Valley, Otford and on to Dover. In 1847 the South Eastern Railway Company proposed a Mid Kent and Tonbridge line. The Darent Valley by the mid-19th century had a number of local industries including paper-making due to the pure clean water of the Darent, a chalk stream, and the idea of a Dartford-Sevenoaks Railway with the possibility of a deep water quay and/or a tunnel to the London-Tilbury Railway. But shortly afterwards the London and Chatham line was constructed with a station at Farningham Road. A line to London seemed a better proposal and the proposed Sevenoaks Railway 1852 was finally built from Sevenoaks Junction (now Swanley Junction) to Sevenoaks. The Railway link to Dartford was again proposed and consent given in 1875 but not proceeded with. After the passing of the Light Railway Act, several other proposals were made but never followed up. The booklet gives a short summary of the parliamentary procedure and a good summary of the various proposals in the age of railway mania and clear maps of the proposals.

Bernard Barber
Adapted from the review in J. Kent History for March, 1994 p.19