Sunday, 3 July 2011

Track Diagram: Folkestone Harbour

(Click on either image to enlarge)

LC - Level Crossing
SB - Signal Box
FB - Foot Bridge

In August 1967 I recorded what I could see of Folkestone Harbour on my way through. Back home, I produced a 'fair copy' (oddly, using a blue fountain pen).

A double-track branch about one mile long connected Folkestone Harbour to the sidings at Folkestone Junction on the main line. The gradient is 1-in-30! In steam days, up to four six-coupled tank engines would struggle Boat Trains up the bank to the sidings, where something like a 'Merchant Navy' would hook-on for the rest of the journey.

By 1967, the branch was electrified and Electric Multiple Units of slam-door stock worked the passenger service. There were numerous 4-wheel vans in the extensive sidings, with a 350 h.p. diesel electric shunter. There were two passenger platforms, set on an S-bend. The Up platform was much longer, extended out along the massive jetty. The western side of the sea wall carried a raised promenade. All signals were colour light, with a couple of position light shunting signals controlling movements from the jetty towards the station. There was a signal box at the 'London' end with a lifting-barrier crossing giving road access to the old docks. An elderly signal box at the jetty end straddled the one track. I was not sure whether it was still in use. Two electric overhead travelling jib-cranes spanned the jetty. On arrival by Boat Train, passengers walked to the end of the Up platform then crossed the quay to pass through a temporary-looking customs shed before boarding the Cross-Channel Ferry.

For details of what remained of this area in 2008, refer to 'Railway Track Diagrams' Book 5: Southern and TfL', Third Edition, published by Trackmaps (ISBN: 978-0-9549866-4-3). The First Edition of this book was published by Quail in 1994.