HDL Deal Wayfarer railtour

Saturday 5 July 2003

Last modified on Tuesday 8 July 2003

This page refers to a railtour which has now taken place. All information is left here for interest only! A news article has been created which contains a couple of photos of this railtour.


Our train will depart from Hastings, calling at our usual pick-up points to Tonbridge before reversing to travel via Headcorn, Ashford, Canterbury West and the Minster loop to Deal where there will be about four hours of free time to join one of two optional trips detailed below, or just explore the interesting town with its seafront, pier and castle.

Optional trips from Deal:

  1. A visit to the East Kent Railway: a bus will meet our train for travel across to Eythorne. There will then be ample time to travel on the railway (which will be opened specially for our visit), view the museum and enjoy other facilities. Our train will call at Shepherds Well on its return to pick-up those who have visited this railway.

  2. A visit to Sandwich, allowing a short time to view the historic town before a visit to the White Mill Folk Museum which includes a restored smock mill built about 1760 (with original machinery), agricultural displays, forge, corn grinding engine and restored period cottages.

Both these optional trips have to be booked in advance and will be run by vehicles from East Kent Heritage Buses Ltd. Prices quoted on the booking form are inclusive and include bus travel and appropriate tickets for the railway/museum.

If insufficient numbers book for either of the above optional trips, the right is reserved for either/both not to operate, in which case an appropriate full refund will be given.

For those who wish to spend their free time in Deal, this is a pleasant seaside town with a shopping centre and pier. Just ½ mile from the railway station is Deal Castle, a fascinating structure to explore with imposing battlements, an exhibition centre and a free audio guide. Enquiries about this English Heritage castle can be made by telephoning 01304 372762.

After departure from Deal our train will travel via Dover Priory (reverse), Canterbury East, Sittingbourne, Medway Towns, Strood (reverse), then along the picturesque Medway Valley line via Maidstone West back to Tonbridge.


Final timings have now been received from Network Rail, and are given below.

outward return
Hastings platform 3 depart 0912
St. Leonards (Warrior Square) 0914
Battle 0927 arrive
0945 depart
Etchingham depart 0958
Tunbridge Wells platform 1 1014 arrive
1019 depart
Tonbridge platform 1 1031 arrive
1042 depart
runs via Cranmore down loop, then via Canterbury West and Minster
Deal arrive 1215
Deal depart 1615
Dover Priory 1634 arrive
1640 depart
Shepherds Well depart 1650
Newington (photo stop) 1734 arrive
1741 depart
Strood 1804 arrive
1811 depart
Tonbridge 1856 arrive
1902 depart
Tunbridge Wells arrive 1914
Etchingham 1932
Battle 1947
St. Leonards (Warrior Square) 2000
Hastings arrive 2002


Station stops shown in bold type are to allow HDL passengers to board or alight the train; there is a photographic stop at Newington, but the station stops at Dover Priory and Strood are for working purposes only and HDL passengers will not be permitted to join or leave the train at these points.

On the way to Deal, we will be running via the non-passenger Cranmore Down loop, situated to the west of Headcorn.

Connecting trains are run by South Central from Brighton, Lewes, Polegate, Eastbourne, Pevensey & Westham and Bexhill to Hastings. These are run by Connex from London, Orpington, Sevenoaks and Redhill to Tonbridge.

Please enquire for train times at your local station or telephone 08457 48 49 50. Separate fares are payable on these connecting services.


For travel to Deal and back from any station listed overleaf the standard fare is £27, or £95 for a bay of four seats: please state any preference for DEMU- or CEP-coach seating. For travel in Club Class individual tickets (only) are available at £43 (NO special rate for a bay of four seats). There is a £5 supplement for travelling in either power car (see below). These fares only cover travel on the Hastings Diesels train.

Club Class: Travel at a seat with a table, with refreshments provided throughout the trip plus a meal with wine on the way home. Seating is likely to be in a DEMU trailer coach; payment of the additional £5 supplement assures travel in 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 one of the other two power cars (subject to confirmation) Mountfield or Hastings (Standard Class). Capacity is limited.

Optional Tours: Tickets to the East Kent Railway cost £9 each, and tickets for the trip to Sandwich cost £6 each (£5 each for Senior Citizens). Please ensure you state clearly which tour you require, and the number of people wishing to travel on it.

Refreshments: Our train includes a Buffet Car; a selection of hot & cold snacks and drinks will be available throughout the day at reasonable prices. There will also be a trolley service.

Smoking is not permitted in any part of our train.

Latest information: 1 July 2003

Club Class: A few seats are available in power car Tunbridge Wells, but the adjacent trailer car is full.

Standard Class: All window seats booked throughout; a few aisle seats are available, both in the DEMU and CEP trailers, and also in Mountfield power car.

Optional Trips to both the EKR and to Sandwich will operate. Room is still available on each.

Those who have already booked tickets should have received them in the post on Monday 30 June or Tuesday 1 July.


Postal bookings have now closed. Those wishing to make a booking at this late stage are advised to ring […].