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Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR)

Steam locomotive Northern Chief on the RH&DR

The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway (RH&DR) is a small gauge  light railway which runs for about 13.5 miles from Hythe via Dymchurch, St. Mary's Bay, New Romney and Romney Sands (for Greatstone) to Dungeness.

St Mary's Bay is served by two stations on the RH&DR. St Mary's Bay station, in Jefferstone Lane, near Nesbit Road, serves the village and Romney Warren station, south of the village just off the A259, serves the Romney Warren Country Park, with a limited service. (see map)

The extensive rabbit warren from which both the station and this local area of Romney Marsh take their name, is still very much evident, and large numbers of rabbits may be viewed from the train when passing the location

Apart from a regular service, the RH&DR has many special events throughout the year, including trips with Thomas the Tank Engine and Steam Driver Experience Days

RH&DR Stations

 St Mary's Bay RH&DR Station
St Mary's Bay RH&DR Station in Jefferstone Lane

click here for the train times at both stations, together with full details of train fares and times at all stations and special events

History of the RH&DR

The RH& DR opened to traffic in 1927 as a 15" gauge (full size) fully working steam railway covering the eight miles from New Romney to Hythe. In 1928 the railway was extended southwards from New Romney through Greatstone to Dungeness, but reduced to a single track in 1947.

When first opened the St Mary's Bay station was named Holiday Camp after a nearby camp site for boys. It has also been known as Jesson (Jesson Lane being the former name for Jefferstone Lane) and Holiday Camp Jesson. Since 1946 it has been known as St Mary's Bay apart from a period from the early 1980s until the end of 2000 when it was renamed Jefferstone Lane.

The Romney Warren station also opened in 1927 as Warren Halt but closed in the same year due to lack of use. It open briefly again in 1946 but again was closed due to lack of use. The opening of the Romney Warren Country Park led to the station again being opened in February 2009 as Romney Warren and remains open with a limited service.

The line was requisitioned in World War Two by the War Department. Amongst other defensive uses, they even created the only miniature armoured train in the world. It was also used extensively during the building of PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) (Website Icon more information)  which fuelled the Allied invasion force.

After the war the line re-opened between Hythe and New Romney in 1946, with the singled New Romney to Dungeness section reopened in 1947 by Laurel and Hardy.

Replica of the 1940-42 RH&DR Armoured Train
Replica of the 1940-42 RH&DR armoured train [ack 9.]

Also in St Mary's Bay, about a quarter of a mile further north down Dunstall Lane is the now-closed Golden Sands Halt railway station, formerly used by the Maddieson's Golden Sands holiday camp.
Website Icon reference and more information

Further Information

For more information please visit the Website Icon RH&DR website.