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ISBN: 9781841147727
The Kent & East Sussex Railway
The Kent & East Sussex Railway
  • Description

The original Rother Valley Railway, later the Kent & East Sussex Railway, ran from Robertsbridge to Headcorn, being opened in three stages between 1900 and 1905. Its progenitor was the celebrated engineer Holman Fred Stephens who ran it as part of his private light railway empire until his death in 1931. His assistant,William H. Austen, duly succeeded him, and in an age of rapid change and international tension, nevertheless kept most of the rag-tag-and-bobtail collection functioning in one shape or form, including the K&ESR, until Nationalisation in 1948.

Having proved its worth as a diversionary route during the SecondWorldWar, and in part still useful for freight until 1961, it suffered a long, lingering death in the hands of BR. This painful strangulation was followed by a 13-year-war to save part of the line.

Eventually trains started running from Tenterden Town to just beyond Rolvenden in 1974, but the battle to return trains to Bodiam, close to the famous Castle, had barely begun. It would take another marathon 26 years and funding through Bond Issues, Grants and the National Lottery before trains would once again run over the whole of the permitted 10.5 miles, approximately half of the original route. Appropriately this occurred on April 2nd 2000, exactly a century after passenger trains had commenced running on the RVR.

Through 140 full colour images Hugh Nightingale takes a photographic journey along what is arguably the most eccentric, and quite possibly the most scenic, preserved railway in England. His collection will be an unending delight, not only for those who know and love the Kent & East Sussex Railway, but for all who appreciate steam in its natural setting.

Hugh Nightingale has been photographing the KESR on an occasional basis for over 30 years. He became an early member of The Terrier Trust, formed in 1995, which now owns engine 32678 and most of the celebrated “Bodiam”, which run on the line; for the past six years, Hugh has been a Trustee, organising an educational website. His appreciation of these locomotives, through the lenses of several generations of cameras and variety of formats, is apparent throughout the pages of this book.

A member of both the KES and NorthYorkshire Moors railways for decades,Hugh combines his time working for Network Rail, currently as a Signaller in Ashford IECC, the town of his birth, with his wife Rebecca, managing a busy home that revolves around four more Terriers – dogs, not engines! His interests other than photography include current affairs, music of most genres and National Hunt horseracing. Hugh is a longsuffering follower of Kent County Cricket and the Denver Broncos.

Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN: 978 184114 772 7, hardback, 230x214mm, 144 pages. Published October 2008.

REVIEWS: KESR Journal, Network Rail Aspect Magazine.

Web Price: £14.99
17.37 EUR 18.74 USD 24.55 AUD

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