HDL Mid-summer Evening Explorer railtour

Saturday 16 June 2001

This page was last modified on 4 June 2001

This page refers to a railtour which has now taken place. All information is left here for interest only!


Our summer evening venture this year is an opportunity to travel the lines in Kent and East Sussex with which our type of train is most strongly associated, plus one of those infrequent occasions when it is possible to travel the branch line down to Folkestone Harbour.

For those that want an “added extra” from Hastings, you may join our train in the mid-afternoon for a non-stop run to Tonbridge — something that is not a usual occurrence with a passenger train. From Tonbridge our train starts its five-hour circular tour by re-tracing its steps to Hastings, this time stopping at major stations along the line and, for the first time on our tours, we will be picking up at Wadhurst and St. Leonards (Warrior Square) stations for the added convenience of people from those areas.

From Hastings we take the direct line to Ashford via Rye and Appledore, which has a charm of its own across Romney Marsh; then at Ashford we travel down the main line to Folkestone East before joining a the branch line which runs down to the Harbour station.

At Folkestone Harbour there will be a break of over an hour when you may either leave our train for a stroll along the seafront, or stay on the train whilst it makes a couple of shuttle trips on the steep incline back to Folkestone East. This will give opportunities to those who wish to photograph our train.

After leaving Folkestone, Club Class meals will be served (or cheese and wine in other parts of the train) whilst we travel back via Ashford and Paddock Wood to Tonbridge, then we will complete our circular itinerary by calling again at major stations via Tunbridge Wells back down to Hastings.

Final timings

These have now been received from Railtrack:

outward return
Hastings depart 1504
non-stop run to Tonbridge,
arr 1550, then reverse
Tonbridge depart 1558
Tunbridge Wells 1608
Wadhurst 1620
Etchingham 1630
Battle 1642
St. Leonards (Warrior Sq.) 1654
Hastings depart 1658
Folkestone Harbour arrive 1810
shuttle trips from Folkestone
…to Folkestone East at 1825 & 1855
Folkestone Harbour depart 1925
Tonbridge arrive 2045
Tunbridge Wells 2103
Wadhurst 2113
Etchingham 2126
Battle 2138
St. Leonards (Warrior Sq.) 2150
Hastings arrive 2153


For travel from any of the stations listed above the standard fare is £25, or £95 for a bay of four seats; this includes cheese and wine (or soft drink) which is served at seats during our return journey.

Club Class

£35 per seat: this provides refreshments throughout the trip plus a meal with wine on the way home. Why not spoil yourself! Travel will be in a DEMU trailer coach or, if the £5 supplement is paid (see below), in the Tunbridge Wells power car.

Power Cars

A £5 supplement should be added to individual (not bay) fares for travel in power cars: Tunbridge Wells (Club Class), or Hastings (standard seating). Capacity is limited.


Our train includes a Buffet Car; a selection of hot and cold snacks and drinks will be available throughout the trip at a reasonable price. There is also a trolley service.


Smoking is not permitted in any part of our train.

Latest information: 4th June 2001

Seating is now limited in both of the power cars, but plenty is still available in other parts of the train.


Bookings have now closed and the railtour has taken place.