London, Chatham and Dover Railway

London, Chatham And Dover Railway

London, Chatham and Dover Railway

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The London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) was a railway company in south-eastern England from 1859 until the 1923 grouping which united it with other companies to form the Southern Railway. Its lines ran through London and northern and eastern Kent to form a significant part of the Greater London commuter network. From the start the railway was in an impecunious position.

The Chatham, as it was always known, was much criticised for its often lamentable carriage stock and poor punctuality, but in two respects it was very good: it used the highly effective Westinghouse brake on its passenger stock, and the Sykes 'Lock and Block' system of signalling. It had an excellent safety record.

East Kent Railway

The LCDR began as the East Kent Railway (EKR). Its first line was from Strood near Rochester to Faversham, opened in two parts:
  • 29 March 1858: Strood - Chatham, the station at Rochester opened only after the rival SER opened Chatham Central station.
  • 25 January 1858: Chatham - Faversham, with stations at Rainham, Sittingbourne, Teynham, and Faversham. Gillingham (originally called New Brompton until May 1886, and New Brompton (Gillingham) from then until 1 October 1912) was opened circa July 1858.
  • 3 March 1858: The West End of London & Crystal Palace Railway (WELCP) opened the extension of their line from Norwood (Crystal Palace) to Beckenham Junction (opened as Beckenham) and Shortlands (opened as Bromley).
  • 22 November 1858: The Mid-Kent...... ...
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