April 2023 Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch RHDR
Stunning beaches, beautiful nature reserves and even a desert may not be what your everyday train journey in the UK brings to mind.
But the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) in Kent is no ordinary line.
Since its opening in 1927, the one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives that run along the railway have attracted visitors from all over the world.
Passengers hopping aboard for the 13.5 mile trip, are taken on a journey through time – bearing witness to the most traditional of British coastal routes with old fishing towns, medieval churches and iconic lighthouses.
The railway was the brainchild of racing driver and millionaire Captain J.E.P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski – also a well know racing driver and famous for creating and racing the legendary Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Mercedes.
But before their dreams were realised, Count Zborowski was killed whilst racing in the Italian Grand Prix at just 29 years old.
Determined to make use of his newly-designed miniature locomotives, Capt.Howey and lead engineer Henry Greenly set upon opening a railway on Romney Marsh and in 1927 the line was officially opened.
It soon gained fame as being the “smallest public railway in the world” – however World War Two put a halt to tourism.
The line’s positioning on the Kent coast made it the perfect tool to fuel the Allied invasion force with the War Department even creating the only miniature armoured train in the world. In the 73 years since, the RH&DR has become one of the premier tourist attractions in the county.
And it’s not hard to see why.
The line between Hythe and Dungeness passes five stations where passengers can hop on and off to visit some of the best sights Kent has to offer.
Visitors wanting to experience a traditional British seaside town can stop at Dymchurch station – just a five minute walk from a glorious sandy beach.
New Romney Station, the headquarters of the railway, offers a further insight into the history of the line with the Heritage Centre. Visit the Model Railway exhibition and see the biggest model railway in England.
And at the end of the line in Dungeness, passengers can visit one of the largest expanses of shingle in the world – also classified as Britain’s only desert. Those feeling a bit peckish from their day’s excursions can grab a bite to eat at the aptly-named End of the Line restaurant.
Keep an eye out for the special events if a visit is on the horizon, visit www.rhdr.org.uk Kids will love the Easter Egg hunt across the line over the Easter weekend on Saturday 8th April – Sunday 9th April.
The Steam and Diesel Gala on May 13 is a must-see for any train enthusiasts, with all available locomotives running, as well as locomotives on loan from the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway.
Whenever and wherever passengers decide to visit, they are sure to have a memorable day out travelling on one of the most iconic modes of transport in British history.
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