[Source: Nick Catford]
Date opened: 15.5.1905
Location: On the north side of an unnamed minor road
Company on opening: Kent & East Sussex Railway
Date closed to passengers: 4.1.1954
Date closed completely: 4.1.1954
Company on closing: British Railways (Southern Region)
Present state: Only the brick base of the station building remains.
County: Kent
OS Grid Ref: TQ843408
Date of visit: March 1968, September 1975, July 1976 & September 1981

Notes: (Brief history of the Kent & East Sussex Railway) The Rother Valley Railway was proposed in 1896 and was the first line to be built under the 1896 Light Railway Act that permitted lightly constructed lines to be built in rural areas. The line was engineered by Holman Stephens (later Colonel Stephens) who went on to build a number of light railways around the country. The first section between Robertsbridge and Tenterden (later renamed Rolvenden) opened on 2.4.1900. The line was extended to Tenterden Town in 1903 and Headcorn in 1905.

The line was renamed the Kent & East Sussex Railway was initially moderately profitable although the northern section was subsidised by the South Eastern & Chatham Railway.

After WW1 there were heavy losses eventually leading to bankruptcy in 1931. The line had remained independent after the 1923 amalgamation and despite loss of revenue with many of its passengers switching to busses it continued to provide a valuable service, especially to the farming community, through the 1930's.

he line was nationalised in 1948 but despite improvements, passenger numbers continued to fall and during a typical week in 1953 only 118 passengers travelled on 90 trains, many of which ran empty. The end was inevitable with closure coming on 2 January 1954. The line was abandoned and the track lifted between Headcorn and Tenterden Town while the southern section remained open for goods traffic to Tenterden Town until 12.6.1961. The line also saw occasional passenger trains primarily for hop-pickers and ramblers during the summer.

Shortly after final closure a preservation society was formed but it was a further 13 years before trains returned to the line, the main stumbling block being the large number of road crossings. Eventually a compromise was agreed once the Society agreed to drop the section of line between Bodiam and Robertsbridge from the restoration proposal. The Kent & East Sussex Railway Company became a registered charity and work progressed quickly with the first section of restored line opening at Tenterden on 3.2.1974; this was extended to Wittisham Road in 1977, Northiam in 1990 and Bodiam in 2000.

Further Reading:
Kent and East Sussex Railway by Stephen Garrett - 1999 Oakwood Press ISBN: 0853615160

The Kent and East Sussex Railway by Matthew Beddall - 2000 Solo ISBN: 0953295230
The Kent and East Sussex Railway by Terry Gough - 1998 Past & Present ISBN 1858951496
Rails to Tenterden by J L Smith - 1967 Lens of Sutton

Web Sites:
Kent & East Sussex Railway Company (official web site). Tickets from Brian Halford

Frittenden Road station c1930s.
Photo from Roy Lambeth collection

1908 1:2,500 OS map shows the layout of the station and goods yard.

Wainwright Class O1 0-6-0 No.31065 at Frittenden Road station in August 1952.
Photo from John Mann collection

Another Wainwright Class O1 0-6-0 is seen at Frittenden Road station in the early 1950s. One of two sidings at the station runs behind the hedge at the back of the platform.
Photo from P. Brocks

Frittenden Road station looking north in the early 1950s.
Photo from John Mann collection

Frittenden Road Station in November 1953. The station closed to all traffic in 1954 and the track was lifted between Tenterden and Headcorn c1956.
Photo by S C Nash

4 1/2 years later in March 1968 the track has gone and the building and platform remain in a dilapidated condition. This would have been the time for restoration of the station.
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road station in March 1968
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road Station in September 1975
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road station in September 1981, the north end of the canopy has collapsed. The platform has now been removed.
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road station in September 1981
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road Station in September 1981
hoto by Nick Catford

Frittenden Road Station in February 2003. The canopy has now fallen away and the building is in a very dilapidated state.
Photo from Tim's UK Trains web site

The station building at Frittenden Road was destroyed by fire in October 2003 leaving just the brick base as seen in this April 2021 view.
Photo by Colin Clifton




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