Station Name: BROOKLAND HALT
|Location:||On the north side of Straight Lane (A259)|
|Company on opening:||Lydd Railway Company|
|Date closed to passengers:||6.3.1967|
|Date closed completely:||6.3.1967|
|Company on closing:||British Railways (Southern Region)|
|Present state:||The down platform is extant along with the station building which is now a private residence. The up platform is also still extant although partially soil covered and heavily overgrown so it's difficult to see anything.|
|OS Grid Ref:||TQ997264|
|Date of visit:||May 1975, November and 3.1.2006|
Notes: Brookland Station is between the villages of Brookland and Brenzett. Traffic was always light and although the station was originally provided with two platforms the passing loop and the down platform, which included the main station building, were taken out of use in 1921 when the signal box was closed. Although there were proposals to build a horse dock siding off the passing loop, this was never built and the station never carried any freight traffic.
Brookland was downgraded to 'halt' status and all the facilities were concentrated on the up platform which was provided with a waiting shelter. The level crossing was controlled from a small ground frame hut with a resident signal-porter who also sold tickets to the occasional traveler. This was eventually replaced with a new ticket office alongside the road.
Once devoid of track the former station building ion the down platform was converted into a private dwelling and sold in the 1930's
As the photographs show, very little has changed at Brookland
in the last 30 years.
The line opened to passengers between Appledore and Lydd on 7 December 1881, with freight services to Dungeness, until that too opened to passengers on April 1883. The only intermediate station was at Brookland. Although nominally independent, the service was provided by the South Eastern Railway and many of the Lydd Railway Company directors were prominent in the SER. The line had 12 level crossings in its 8 mile length.
In 1895 the local company was absorbed into the South Eastern Railway. With the Dungeness port scheme abandoned, the SER obtained powers in 1900 to extend their line to Hythe but this was never built.
Kitson steam railcars were introduced onto the line in 1906/7 and with the development of military ranges and a large army camp at Lydd, the line was well used until the end of WW1. Passenger numbers were now in decline although agricultural freight, including Romney Marsh sheep remained profitable. By the 1920's New Romney was served by 9 trains a day while Dungeness was relegated to 3.
The line remained open with a reduced service during WW2 although an obvious target for enemy aircraft. A heavily armoured train was allocated to Ashford - Hastings - New Romney group of lines with regular patrols being undertaken.
Nationalisation in 1948 initially brought few changes but with competition from busses and the popularity of the motor car in the 1950's traffic continued to decline and economies were inevitable including the withdrawal of the Dungeness freight service in 1952 and the removal of the passing loop at Lydd-on-Sea.
In the early 1960's the line received a new use with the opening of Dungeness Nuclear Power Station in 1965. The passenger service was improved with steam being replaced by two-car diesel-electrics providing 11 trains a day in 1962; with most running through to Ashford. This new prosperity was not to last however and both the Ashford - Hastings line and with it the New Romney branch were proposed for closure in the 1963 Beeching Report. The goods services to New Romney was withdrawn in 1964 but the threat of closure was suspended until 1966 when the Minister of Transport announced that the passenger service on the New Romney branch would cease on 6th March 1967. The Ashford - Hastings line was however reprieved although some sections were eventually singled.
Further reading: The
New Romney Branch Line by Peter Harding. Published by the
author in 1983 ISBN : 0952345889
To see the other stations on the New Romney and Dungeness branches click on the station name: Appledore, Lydd Town, Lydd-on-Sea Halt, Greatstone-on-Sea Halt, New Romney & Littlestone-on-Sea and Dungeness
|Last updated: Friday, 02-Dec-2011 18:18:23 GMT||
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