|R328||175th Anniversary of the Railway in Folkestone||£10.95||Buy Now|
Issue Date: 28/06/2018
Issue Name: 175th Anniversary of the Railway in Folkestone
Producer: Buckingham Covers
This fantastic railway cover celebrates 175 years of the railway in Folkestone. It features a stunning black and white image of a steam train travelling over a bridge in Folkestone Harbour and has a 1st class Penny Black stamp along with Folkestone postmark. It will be carried onboard an Ashford to Folkestone journey and will feature an appropriate cachet.
175th Anniversary of the Railway in Folkestone
Proposals for a railway between London and Dover had been made as early as 1825, but it was not until June 1836 that the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed a Private Act incorporating the South Eastern and Dover Railway, changing its name to the South Eastern Railway (SER) soon after.
The engineer of the new line, William Cubitt, was also engineer of the London and Croydon Railway (L&CR). The new line would use L&CR lines as far as Norwood, and then, to reduce costs, share the London and Brighton Railway mainline southwards with a new connection at Earlswood Common providing access to Dover via Tonbridge, Ashford and Folkestone. This route involved a significant 1,268m tunnel through the Shakespeare Cliff near Dover.
In 1838 construction of the railway began in several places simultaneously, and the Shakespeare Tunnel was complete by May 1841. The main line reached Ashford on 1 December 1842 and on 28 June 1843 the railway reached a temporary station at the edge of Folkestone.
The ideal site for a permanent station was located on the eastern side of the Foord Valley, which meant the SER had to take the route over a viaduct of unprecedented height. Comprising of nineteen arches, the tallest of which being 100-feet high, the Foord viaduct was built across the valley in less than half a year. The structure remains the world’s highest arched brick viaduct and was given Grade II Listed status in 1975. Trains began running over the viaduct and using a permanent ‘’Folkstone’’ (spelt without the central ‘’e’’) station on the 18 December 1843.
They had purchased the nearly derelict harbour and, almost immediately, a branch line to it was planned. The line was built in 1844 leaving the main line at Folkestone Junction and was double tracked ending with a viaduct across the harbour itself.
A steam ferry service to Boulogne was introduced. In 1848 the SER served two steam ships a day between Folkestone and Boulogne. On arriving in France travellers had to switch to road transport, as the railways on the French side of the Channel did not reach the coast until the early 1860s.
In 1847 the first swing bridge linked the viaduct to the spit of recovered land and the first section of station and large warehouse were finished; foundations of a southeast facing pier were laid. The railway was and is unique in that it has only one station at the bottom of a 1325 yard double-track branch line, laid at a gradient of 1 in 30.
The coming of the railways to Folkestone considerably increased the towns prosperity in the 19th century. Previously a quiet fishing port, Folkestone became a popular holiday resort as well as a gateway for travel to Europe.
Want to keep your rail covers safe? Click here to see our lovely Railway Album