Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway marks its 95th anniversary
A special year is coming up for a war-time train line as it marks its 95th anniversary.
The Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) was commandeered by the War Department during the Second World War and featured the only miniature armoured train in the world.
A teaser for the event this month
It formed part of the coastal defence network in preparation for a German invasion and was used to transport troops and munitions to rural outposts.
It also served the war effort by helping to build Pluto [Pipe-Lines Under The Ocean] that helped send fuel and oil to the Allies after the D-Day invasion.
But the war years took its toll and although the railway wanted to open as soon as it could after peace descended it still took time to repair.
The Hythe to New Romney section opened again in 1946, but the cost of the war was evident.
The New Romney to Dungeness section was only single track and raw materials to rebuild the line were scarce and expensive.
The RH&DR will be celebrating its 95th anniversary with a Steam and Diesel Gala later this month where all its steam locomotives will be in service.
There will also be some visiting engines including a 0-4-0 steam tank locomotive built in 1896 by engineer Sir Arthur Heywood for use on the Duke of Westminster’s private railway at his Eaton Hall estate in Cheshire.
The train known as Katie is on loan from Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway Co.Ltd along with River Irt.
This engine will also be celebrating its 95-year-anniversary since it was given a locomotive-type boiler and its frames were extended for the rear truck, a small cab and a six-wheel tender were added in place of the side-tanks.
The event will additionally have 'Gladys' the Bar Car and the Royal Saloon available to hire on both days to allow visitors to travel in style.
The Steam and Diesel Gala will be taking place on May 14 and 15.
Trains will be running continuously throughout the weekend, starting Saturday morning and running through the night ending on Sunday evening.
Weekend tickets are available now for £45 per adult. To find out more information and buy click here.