RamsgateHistory.com

THE RAILWAY ARRIVES AT RAMSGATE

Trains first arrived in Ramsgate in April 1846 courtesy of the South Eastern Railway (SER). The line terminated at the SER Station which later became known as the Town Station. This was situated at the junction of Margate Road and Station Approach Road. The site is now occupied by a block of flats known as Chatham Court. Click HERE to view a plan of the station.



RAMSGATE TOWN STATION


Later that same year the SER line was extended to Margate. The route of this line can still be traced on a map along Hurst Grove, Ashley Close, Highfield Road, past Jackey Bakers Sport Field, parallel with Margate Road, Nash Road and on to Margate SER (later known as the Sands Station). Trains from Canterbury bound for Margate had to reverse out of Ramsgate Town Station before continuing on to Margate. In 1864 a small station was opened on this SER line at St Lawrence, situated alongside Newington Bridge in Newington Road, but this station closed in 1916.



HARBOUR STATION


In 1863 the Kent Coast Railway completed a line from Margate to Ramsgate via Broadstairs, which terminated at Ramsgate seafront. Initially known as Ramsgate & St Laurence-on-Sea it later became known as Ramsgate Harbour. This section of line reached the sea front via a 1 in 75 gradient tunnel from just south of Broadstairs. At the station engines were turned on a turntable for the return journey up the incline.



TRAIN LEAVING HARBOUR STATION ABOUT TO ENTER THE TUNNEL




ENTRANCE TO THE TUNNEL


All the various lines were taken over by Southern Railway in 1923 and the lines were rationalised. A new station was built for Ramsgate just east of the old St Lawrence Station and the line was continued across a viaduct over Margate Road to join with the line from Broadstairs at the point where it entered the tunnel to Ramsgate Harbour. A new station was also built at Dumpton Park. The new line and stations opened in 1926 and the Ramsgate Harbour station was closed at the same time. The line across Thanet from Ramsgate Town station was discontinued.



ENGINE ON THE TURNTABLE AFTER THE WALL WAS DEMOLISHED IN AN ACCIDENT


The were two notable incidents on the old lines, one at each of the old stations. On the 31st of August 1891 a train arriving at the Harbour station overrun the buffer stop and crashed through a wall around the turntable. Details of this accident are scarce, but The Railways Archive records 1 fatality.


TRAIN CRASH AT THE TOWN STATION

On the 11th on March 1913 a train from Margate bound for Ashford overrun the station, collided with a brake van and crashed through the station wall. Nine passengers were slightly injured and a girl walking past the station was bruised by the falling masonry. Click HERE to read the official report of this accident.


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