Ashford to Ramsgate line

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Ashford to Ramsgate (via Canterbury West) line
Wye station (Class 411 1619) 01.JPG
Class 411 1619 with a 4-car set in Jaffa Cake livery leaves Wye station in 1989
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Kent,
South East England
Stations 11
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Southeastern
Rolling stock Class 375 "Electrostar", Class 395 "Javelin"
Number of tracks 2
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map

The Ashford to Ramsgate (via Canterbury West) Line, shown with other railway lines in Kent

Chatham Main Line
(Ramsgate Branch)
Margate Sands
Margate East
Dumpton Park
Ramsgate Harbour Tunnel
1,124 yards (1,028 m)
Ramsgate Harbour
Ramsgate Town
Depot &
St Lawrence for Pegwell Bay
Ebbsfleet and Cliffsend Halt
Grove Ferry and Upstreet
Chislet Colliery Halt
Canterbury North Lane
Canterbury West
Curve closed 1953
Chatham Main Line
(Dover Branch)
Ashford International

The Ashford to Ramsgate (via Canterbury West) line is the railway that runs from Ashford to Ramsgate via Canterbury West. The same termini can be reached by the Kent Coast Line

The line is electrified (750 V DC third rail).


Services are operated by Southeastern.

Typical service is hourly from Charing Cross to Ashford, dividing there into a part to Ramsgate via Canterbury West, and a part via the Kent Coast Line.


The line was built by South Eastern Railway (SER) as a branch from its main line. Their rival London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) had already built to Canterbury and Ramsgate.

Upon the merging of the SER and LCDR into the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SECR) the track layout and stations were rationalised at Ashford and on Thanet. In Thanet the SER branch to Margate Sands was closed.

The line was electrified in 1961 under the BR 1955 Modernisation Plan.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 11 August 1858, an excursion train was derailed near Chilham. Three people were killed.[1]
  • On 15 July 1970, an electric multiple unit was in collision with a lorry on an occupation crossing between Chartham and Chilham due to an error by the crossing keeper. The driver of the lorry and the guard of the train were killed.[2]
  • On 26 July 2015, electric multiple unit 375 703 was in collision with a herd of cattle on the line at Chilham and was derailed. There were no injuries amongst the 70 passengers.[3][4] The line was closed until 30 July.[5]


  1. ^ Kidner, R. W. (1977) [1963]. The South Eastern and Chatham Railway. Tarrant Hinton: The Oakwood Press. p. 48.
  2. ^ Glover, John (2001). Southern Electric. Hersham: Ian Allan. p. 142. ISBN 0 7110 2807 9.
  3. ^ "Train derailed after hitting cows on line in Kent". BBC News Online. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Southeastern Train travelling between Chilham and Wye derails after hitting cattle". Kent Online. Kent Messenger Group. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Kent line closed by cows-on-line derailment to reopen". BBC News Online. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
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