The Friends of the
National Railway Museum

South of England Group
Vice Presidents: Sir William McAlpine Bt, FRSE, FCIT, FRSA; Richard Hardy

Last Update

    4 October 2012


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On 29th September, rather later than our normal summer one-day visits, five of us met at St Pancras International to take the relatively-new Javelin service along HS1.

Javelin train 395 006 Daley Thompson at St Pancras

Javelin train 395 006 Daley Thompson at St Pancras

The date was, however, providential as, for once this summer, the skies were completely blue with no sign of rain. The journey seemed to take no time at all, whisking us through the Kent countryside at 140 mph to Ashford, before the rather more mundane third-rail kicked-in for the short run to Folkestone Central. The concept of integrated transport doesn't seem to have permeated this far south-east, so a bit of exercise was necessary to get us to the bus station where we boarded the 102 service to Hythe. The car park here had a couple of Jeeps in WWII livery, showing that the Autumn gala was in full swing. We boarded the 12:00 departure, hauled by Southern Maid, which was well loaded, to New Romney. Here more of the Group joined for lunch.

Southern Maid at New Romney Station

Suitably refreshed, we explored the environs of the station. The OO model railway above the café was in full operation. A display of models and photographs showed the line's history. Outside a band played music to accompany the diners, there was a Punch & Judy show, and the shed and armoured train were available for inspection

At 14:05, the next west-bound train arrived, hauled by No7 Typhoon, which we boarded for the journey to Dungeness.

Typhoon at Dungeness Station RHDR

Typhoon at Dungeness Station

Here there was a vintage vehicle display alongside the station and overlooked by the open 19th century lighthouse and, now closed, 20th century nuclear power station. A special 4-coach train departed first. This put our departure some 10 minutes late. At the next station, Romney Sands, we passed the next service train which was also running late.

Northern Chief at Romney Sands

We de-trained at Dymchurch to see the display of WWII military vehicles, mobile hospital and dance-hall. In need of more refreshment by this time, we adjourned to a nearby pub. A quick inspection of the various timetables, showed that by catching a bus from here we could make the 17:56 HS1 Folkestone departure. Unfortunately, the bus service was delayed, but, with a quick change at Folkestone bus station, we caught the HS1 service with a couple of minutes to spare. It shows that a day-trip from London, or further afield, is now possible with ease to this interesting railway.