Transportation => Tramways & Railways => Topic started by: merc on July 10, 2008, 13:58:51

Title: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: merc on July 10, 2008, 13:58:51
I saw this on the BBC Kent site:

The following is an edited extract from Leslie Oppitz's latest book 'Lost Railways of Kent'

The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway may have been the first passenger railway in the world. The last passanger train ran on the line in January 1931, over a century after the first journeys were made.

Construction of the 6 mile line took several years of arduous digging and preparation. Work excavating the 828 yard Tyler Hill Tunnel proved difficult and lengthy.

By the autumn of 1826, after 15 months, only 400 yards had been completed. Work was delayed by a fall of earth but at last in May 1827 contact between the north and south ends was effected. Bearing in mind that almost 2,500 feet of track was involved, amazingly the final calculation was correct to within an inch.

The tunnel aroused much comment and criticism. Many suggested it had been built because it had been proclaimed that 'every good railway must have a tunnel'. The tunnel in fact made its presence felt as recently as 1974 when a subsidence damaged some of the college buildings.

Sections of the line were so steeply graded so that stationary engines were required to haul trains by cable up the steep ascents. From Canterbury the first was at Tyler's Hill with a further stationary engine at Clowes Wood to deal with trains between Tyler's Hill and Bogshole Brook. The expected speed up a gradient was estimated at 9 mph. For the last two miles to Whitstable the locomotive Invicta was at first used.

There were great celebrations for the opening on 3rd May 1830. In Canterbury, the cathedral bells were rung and guns were fired in salute. There were two trains, consisting altogether of twenty carriages and twelve wagons. The whole length was bedecked with flags and leading carriages carried the directors, aldermen and other members of the Corporation.

The third carried their ladies and the fourth, a band. A local newspaper described entering the tunnel as very impressive. It reported: 'The cheering of the whole party echoing through the vault combined to form a situation, certainly novel and striking'.

But not all the passengers enjoyed the experience. According to a letter in the local press, one traveller wrote: 'When we had proceeded halfway through, a feeling of suffocation became perceptible increasing so fearfully, that had the tunnel been twice the length, I feel confident I should have hardly have got through alive'. The writer walked back to Canterbury.

As the first train reached a summit, the cable that had hauled it up the incline was transferred to some loaded wagons which, by running down again, allowed the cable to be attached to the second train. When both sections of the train had reached the final summit, the locomotive Invicta - delivered by sea from Newcastle - took the train to Whitstable.

At Whitstable another grand ceremony followed when directors entered the harbour in a specially chartered steamer to military band accompaniment.

Some years after regular services had begun in 1830 the original owners, the Canterbury & Whitstable Railway Company, made numerous attempts to lease the line to another operator. It was not until September 1844 that the South Eastern Railway took on working the line eventually absorbing the CWR by an Act of August 1853.

During the life of the line, passenger services were infrequent and slow and the coaches were old and not at all comfortable. And because the tunnel had a limited bore, coaches were limited by size. After the First World War, bus competition began to cause problems and the line to Whitstable finally closed to passengers on 1st January 1931. Goods traffic continued for a number of years but final closure came on 1st December 1952 after which time the track was removed.

When the last passenger train ran on 1st January 1931, it comprised locomotive No. 31010 hauling two brake vans to Whitstable with passengers, including press and radio representatives. Whitstable Harbour station had been decorated for the occasion and the train was met by a crowd of about 100 people.

On the return journey the train stopped at the Canterbury end of the Tyler Hill Tunnel where a wreath was presented. What a proud ending for a railway that had survived just over 100 years for passengers and had become known affectionately by some as the 'Crab and Winkle' line.

By Leslie Oppitz.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2008/05/27/history_lost_railway_feature.shtml
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: howard on July 10, 2008, 20:00:23
I went to a birthday party in Whitstable last year. One of the people who attended was a retired engine driver who said that the last time he had been in Whitstable was when he was driving a train on the C&W - it closed in 1952!
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: BenG on March 15, 2009, 17:08:38
Heres a few pictures from the line:

The bridge in the embankment just before the Thanet Way:
View from the across the field:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3555.JPG)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3563.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3559.jpg)

The parapets have fallen off:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3561.jpg)

Some of the brickwork:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3562.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3564.jpg)

The trackbed looking towards Canterbury:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3567.jpg)

What I think is the second storage pond for the winding engine:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3571.jpg)

In the middle of the line is the Winding Pond which was built in 1829 to provide water for the steam winding engines used to pull the carriages out of Whitstable.
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3579.jpg)

The trackbed from the pond towards Canterbury:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3583.jpg)

and from the pond towards Whitstable:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF3584.jpg)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: marmalade on March 15, 2009, 23:07:20
Thank you, super pictures!

I've just been reading a little more about it, and I see that the "world's first railway bridge", according to the Crab and Winkle Line Trust, was knocked down in 1971 to make way for cars.  :'(

Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: LenP on April 06, 2009, 22:11:43
Here is said bridge.
(http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss251/Lens35/Shot056.jpg)


This one is postdated 1962.
(http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss251/Lens35/Shot055.jpg)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: BenG on October 20, 2009, 21:08:13
Thanks to LenP for identifing this wheel:

These are the remains of a stationary winding engine that once hauled trains up the gradients that were too steep for Invicta on the Canterbury and Whitstable line (Source In The Tracks Of Railway History by Mike Page published by the Whitstable Improvement Trust).

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/misc/191020091340.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/misc/191020091341.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/misc/191020091342.jpg)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: BenG on December 30, 2009, 18:40:27
A few pictures of the 1930s art-deco Southern Railway bridge carrying the old Thanet Way across the railway.

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/301220091351.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/301220091353.jpg)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/301220091373.jpg)

A pedestrian crossing gate (?) leading to All Saints Church:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/301220091355.jpg)

Trackbed towards Canterbury:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/301220091352.jpg)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: BenG on February 21, 2010, 13:16:41
Remains of the bridge over Old Bridge Road:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF0678.JPG)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF0679.JPG)

Remains of the bridge over Teynham Road:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF0680.JPG)

(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/DSCF0681.JPG)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: LenP on February 21, 2010, 22:32:19
Remains of occupation underpass, St. Stephens Field, Canterbury.

(http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss251/Lens35/PIC_0984.jpg)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: PG on February 22, 2010, 21:00:49
I have done some research into my family history, and have found that my Great Grandfather was an engine driver living at Whitstable harbour in 1901, presumably the engine was on the C&W line. Later in 1911 he was a Railway Steam Crane driver at Whitstabl harbour. Has anyone any information about such a crane at the harbour?
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: BenG on January 01, 2011, 16:38:56
Southern portal of the Tyler Hill tunnel:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/PENT2615.JPG)

Track bed towards Canterbury from the tunnel:
(http://www.kentexploration.co.uk/images/stories/transport/railway/crabwinkle/PENT2614.JPG)
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: PG on January 11, 2011, 19:29:48
I don't suppose that were many railway cranes at Whitstable. With such a low tunnel on the Crab and Winkle line, and locos having to have their smoke stacks cut down to get through, I wonder if they had to bring the crane in by sea. I will have to do some more digging. PG
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: patmore on January 11, 2011, 20:20:26
Am I right in saying that those little R1 locos finished their days assisting the boat trains up the gradient away from Folkstone harbour? I am sure I once saw a photo of two working together doing just that.
                                                                                  James
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on May 10, 2011, 16:33:24
Does anyone know what happened to the cylinder block that was part of the engine? It was for many years located with the fly-wheel at the back of the Castle. One more thing, are there any pics in existance of one of the winding engines? They were there quite a while before loco traction took over. You can alway tell which way the train is going on this line as the smokebox ALWAYS points to Canterbury so the crew did not get overcome by the fumes in the tunnel. Regards, Sentinel S4.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on May 27, 2011, 23:24:33
The C&W was the first non-mineral railway built for the purpose of making money. It beat the Stockton line by a few months and that was built for carrying coal. Both lines were built by Stephenson and both were built with rope worked inclines on long stretches. A few years later the Stockton line was rebuilt and most of the steeper inclines were bypassed or eradicated. The C&W sadly did not have the same care and remained to the end almost as built. It was only that locomotives got more powerful that spelt the end of the winding engines. Yes the little SER R and R1 class were used but I have also seen pics of an O class tender engine on the line. The locos that were stationed for use to Whitstable were shedded at Canterbury West and all had cut down fittings, a shorter chimney and dome as well as lowered cab roof, to fit through Tyler Hill Tunnel. The C&W had a few claims to fame, the first season ticket issue for example. It also had two bridges. One out towards Bogshole which was/is a farm occupation bridge and another. This is the important one for historical purpose as it crossed an existing road and was built to allow the passage of vehicles, it was a long time until the first cars so we can assume that they meant horse drawn vehicles. The Stockton line was built on ground level with no really heavy earth works. The next line built was the Liverpool and Manchester and this combined lessons learned from both the C&W and the Stockton line, but the oldest railway bridge in existance is the Causey Arch on the Tanfield railway. This is up north and was built for the conveyance of Coal and, as far as I know, never carried passengers. The Whitstable bridge did. As much as I despise official vandals this bridge really did have to go. It was too small for most vehicles,  and created a huge bottleneck arount the town. It must be remembered that theselines were built in the Georgean era, not Victorian, and they were on a very steep learning curve so they built to the sizes that they understood. I think that it is sad that this line has gone as it could have been developed much like the Addiscombe line in Croydon and become a modern Tram way. That would have helped take traffic away from the roads.  Sentinel S4.  
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on August 18, 2011, 20:31:34
Does anyone know what happened to the cylinder block that was part of the engine? It was for many years located with the fly-wheel at the back of the Castle. One more thing, are there any pics in existance of one of the winding engines? They were there quite a while before loco traction took over. You can alway tell which way the train is going on this line as the smokebox ALWAYS points to Canterbury so the crew did not get overcome by the fumes in the tunnel. Regards, Sentinel S4.

Hi,

Had a look today - the cylinder block is still there - dumped behind the building by the fly-wheel and covered in rust!!!

John
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on August 25, 2011, 16:26:57
Sorry to disappoint but the cylinder block aint there. This was as of half an hour ago. It was about two feet six high and about eighteen inches in diameter with the square valve box on one side. It vanished abot two years ago and I was wondering if it was removed for some reason or whether the local itinerant scrap dealers had it away one night. That said it must have weighed in the region of about a ton......
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on August 25, 2011, 19:32:04
Sorry to disappoint but the cylinder block aint there. This was as of half an hour ago. It was about two feet six high and about eighteen inches in diameter with the square valve box on one side. It vanished abot two years ago and I was wondering if it was removed for some reason or whether the local itinerant scrap dealers had it away one night. That said it must have weighed in the region of about a ton......

How strange but it was still there yesterday. In amongst weeds behind the right hand building.  Unless of course the item I'm seeing isn't part of it.  Your description seems to fit though.   Will take a photo tomorrow for identification.

I feel that if it is from the engine it should be displayed in the Canterbury Museum along with the Invicta and other Crab and Winkle items.  (before it does get taken by a scrap dealer.

Cheers
John
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on September 15, 2011, 18:57:53
Update:

I'm informed that the main cylinder is in safe storage.  The large square item I've seen with two cylinders is the valve chest. It's cast iron and is about 2ft x 3ft and about 2ft 6ins high.  The main chest is rivetted.   It's still there today so safe at the moment.

John
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on September 15, 2011, 19:15:19
I'm wondering if this engine, seeing the two cranks I am thinking a double beam engine, was at sometime fitted with Woolfe compound gear. That would be a second high pressure cylinder fitted to work halfway along the beam. I would pay good money to see this set restored................
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on September 16, 2011, 00:00:54
I'm wondering if this engine, seeing the two cranks I am thinking a double beam engine, was at sometime fitted with Woolfe compound gear. That would be a second high pressure cylinder fitted to work halfway along the beam. I would pay good money to see this set restored................

The beam engine in this link appears to have a similar flywheel - it's been preserved - Thomas Horn Beam engine at the Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway in Kent.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Horn_Beam_Engine.JPG (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Horn_Beam_Engine.JPG)

John
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on February 27, 2013, 21:57:39
Just found the photo I took of what I think are part of the beam engine from the C&W railway. 

I contacted the council and the Canterbury Archaeological Society.  They are very aware of this item but don't have the funds or the room to store it safely.  In addition to this part and the flywheel there are some other parts stored.

I made a few suggestions on how it could be displayed but I doubt anything will come of it in the near future.

A chap called Charles Lambie, who recently restored the Westgate Towers Museum and old Police Station, was very interested and was going to take up the cause.  Unfortunately, he passed away a few weeks after we discussed it via email so I doubt if it's gone any further.

This is such an important part of the area's history, I can't believe it's being left to rot.  It was still in place a couple of weeks back when I looked.

JW
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 28, 2013, 10:40:25
I believe that what we have here is part of the condensing gear for the engine. When built they would still be running at something between 15 and 30 psi and the condenser would be a big part of the engine. I have just looked at the pics of the flywheel again. This definitely had direct drive and two cranks. As these are set at 90 deg it would be self starting, a single cylinder would need barring round to a starting position. What we have are the remains of a two cylinder high speed beam engine. The preserved engine at Bredgar is a single cylinder of similar size to this one.

There is a lot written about the railway but there is very little seen about the winding gear. This line had some very long pulls for the length. I believe that there was a winding house in Tyler Hill Woods and another just outside of Whitstable. The Tyler Hill engine pulled from Canterbury over the hills to Bogshole where Invicta ran to Southstreet before another winding engine let the rake down to the Harbour. The line was about 7 miles long and six were on the rope, just one mile either loco or horse drawn. This was astounding and would need a very powerful engine at Tyler Hill, she had to work five miles of rope and pulleys as well as the rakes of trucks on each end, these would provide a little balance but not much.

Good pic JW. Thanks.

S4.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: mikeb on February 28, 2013, 11:15:46
The second winding engine was at Clowes Wood and although all has gone, the pond for cooling? water is still there. It is a ten minute walk from the Clowes Wood car park.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 28, 2013, 13:18:17
Right: Tyler Hill Engine House to Canterbury North Lane Station = 2 miles, Tyler Hill Engine House to Clowes Wood Engine House 1 1/2miles, Clowes Wood Engine House to Bogshole 1 1/2 miles, Bogshole to Thanet Way Bridge (approximate location of winding engine as true location is unknown) 1 mile, Thanet Way Bridge to Whitstable Harbour 1 mile (approx). The last winding engine was added after the line was built due to Invicta not having enough power to haul a good load up the incline. Invicta worked the Harbour incline for about six months before the last winding engine was added then she was confined to the Southstreet - Bogshole section.

The inclines were graded thus; Canterbury - Tyler Hill 1 in 46 to 1 in 56, Tyler Hill - Clowes Wood had a 7 foot rise in 1 1/2 miles, Clowes Wood - Bogshole had a maximum grade of 1 in 28, Thanet Way Bridge - Harbour 1 in 50.

These were, in any book, severe grades and my admiration for the drivers of the little R1 0-6-0t's that worked the line in later years has grown immensely. As the Clowes Wood - Bogshole incline was the steepest of the three I would guess that the engine there worked that incline only. The Tyler Hill - Canterbury was longer but less steep and as the section between Tyler Hill and Clowes Wood was more or less level it would make sense that the Tyler Hill engine work that as well.

I have been through my books and can find nothing on the working of this line with rope. The only book that has any details is the LCGB 1830 - 1980 Pictorial Survey, the above figures come from that source. No one has any details of the Winding Engines or the working thereof. The whole line seems to have been built in a similar way to the Coal lines around Newcastle, the Tanfield line and the Bowes Incline come to mind (both still extant), this is logical as the Engineer for the C & W was none other than George Stephenson and he built what he knew (apart from St Stephens Hill Tunnel). The only thing I have read about the working of the Tyler Hill Incline is that there was a rudimentary signalling system that was not as reliable as needed so the trains were allowed to run back against the rope to tell the Winding Engine Driver when to start.

I would like to know more about this first line in Kent but there is very little extant. Most books seem to be re-writes of what has already been printed with a few new pictures every time. This was a fascinating line, the nearest other line was the Surrey Iron Railway and this was a horse drawn plateway dating from 1803 and already out of date when the C & W was built 27 years later. The irony is that one section of the Surrey Iron Railway is still in use by the Croydon Tram system. The next line we had in Kent was the London and Greenwich, well the eastern half from Bermondsy to Greenwich, and that is still in use. Yet this pioneer of a railway, not built for mineral extraction, quite the reverse in fact, is all but forgotten. This line pioneered the issue of season tickets and passenger haulage. This line pushed the development of loco traction as it was seen that the Winding Engines were too slow and expensive to run. If not for this line then Stirling of the SER would not have built the little R class (later re-boilered and listed as R1) that became synonymous with this line and the Folkestone Harbour branch.

I'm wittering again....... Sorry.

S4.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: JohnWalker on February 28, 2013, 18:21:04
Many years ago I took a black and white photo of the remains of the brickwork and pond where I think the nearest winding engine to Canterbury was.  It was just over the back of the university about half mile from the tunnel.

Will try to find it.

JW
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: conan on February 07, 2015, 20:11:54
I was going through my old bookmarks and rediscovered this website .Among a lot of fascinating information was this

http://www.forgottenrelics.co.uk/tunnels/gallery/tylerhill.html
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Nemo on February 09, 2015, 20:46:31
Despite the lovely comment on the C&W's closure in Titfield Thunderbolt, there is (according to the National Archives) a fair bit of material in Canterbury Cathedral Archives.  The NA itself (themselves?) includes evidence from Thomas Cabrey, civil engineer and C&W superintendent, on the use of locomotive and stationary steam engines - given in connection with the 1835 GWR Bill.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Nemo on February 10, 2015, 12:18:27
Oh; in fact words from Mr Cabrey survive: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q6VDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=Thomas+Cabrey+canterbury&source=bl&ots=DthQTnyfVr&sig=1pgoS3U5LGLgYnEgB5_K9awu104&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0fTZVPnoJs3haJSnguAG&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAw (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q6VDAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=Thomas+Cabrey+canterbury&source=bl&ots=DthQTnyfVr&sig=1pgoS3U5LGLgYnEgB5_K9awu104&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0fTZVPnoJs3haJSnguAG&ved=0CDAQ6AEwAw).  In addition, there appears to be a 1930 book by a RB Fellows on the construction, opening and working.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: scoop on February 11, 2015, 23:22:38
Published in the Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald 08 May 1920 was a 90th anniversary article that quotes an earlier article appearing in "The Railway Magazine in 1907".   


The Canterbury and Whitstable Railway was laid out with gradients almost unique in their steepness, necessitating the major portion of the line being worked by stationary engines.  At Canterbury the terminus was situated in North Lane, whence the railway rises in a perfectly straight line on gradients ranging between 1 in 41 and 1 in 56, to the summit of Tyler Hill, a distance of 3,300 yards.
On this section is the Tyler Hill tunnel which the proprietors were so anxious to have.  This peculiar little tunnel may be termed the principal engineering feature of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway: it is half a mile long, and was constructed in four different sections, each of varying guage.  The working face evidently started at the Whitstable side of Tyler Hill, since it advances towards Canterbury each section becomes larger than the preceeding one.  The first three are the usual egg shape but the final section, i.e., at the Canterbury or south end, has perpendicular instead of bow walls, and is the largest of the four.  In the very early days the Canterbury end of the tunnel was closed at night-time by wicket gates, and the rides upon which the gates were hung are still to be seen in the brickwork.  The bore of the tunnel is unusually small-specially constructed rolling stock having to be used for the present day passenger service over the line; and it is not generally known that this tunnel enjoys the distinction of being the first railway tunnel opened in the world.
At the top of the steep bank from Canterbury there stood two 25.h.p. stationary engines for winding the trains up the incline.  From where the first engine house stood the line is straight and practically level for the next mile to Clowes Wood summit, where there were two fixed engines of the same type and h.p. as those at the previous stage.  The line then descends at 1 in 28 and 1 in 31 for the next mile to a place called Bogshole, so named owing to the once spongy condition of the ground in the vicinity, which was a constant source of trouble during the early days of the railway, as whenever wet weather set in the track invariably subsided with sometimes consequent cessations of traffic for a whole day, and even longer.  At Bogshole commences the South Street level, which continues for a mile to the top of Church Street bank, whence the line again falls for half a mile at 1 in 57, the remaining half mile to Whitstable being almost a level.
Just below the top of Church Street bank is situated the only public road bridge on the railway.  This is a narrow brick arch spanning Church Street, and stands today in its original form, notwithstanding the several but fruitless efforts of the local traction engine drivers to affect its displacement with their ponderous machines.


The railway was available for public traffic on the following day, the 4th.  The company had decided to work their own line, and the traffic arrangements afford much amusing reading.  Trains left each terminus at the hour, passing one anoother at Clowes Wood, where there was a loop for the purpose, and trains for the accomodation of goods traffic were occasionally run, not much business being done in the latter respect, however, owing to the incomplete state of the harbour from which much was anticipated by way of seabourne goods which would be loaded inton trucks from the ships and taken over the railway to Canterbury, thus making the latter city a distributing centre of East Kent, and materially adding to its importance.  Atone period, no less than three methods of traction were in vogue, namely, a locomotive, two stationary engines, and the very primitive method of horses.  For the first year or two the process of going to Whitstable from Canterbury was thus: Canterbury to Tyler Hill summit, the fixed engine at the latter station drew the trains up the incline to itself; the Clowes Wood engine next drew the trains over the mile  of virtually level ground; when the unhooking of the ropes at Clowes Wood engine station had been performed, the train was given a start and ran down the steep decline of 1 in 28 and 1 in 31 to Bogshole by gravity, taking with it the rope for the next up journey; at Bogshole the little locomotive "Invicta" was attached, and drew the train over the final two miles into Whitstable.  After its very early days the locomotive was found to be too weak to climb the Church Street bank of 1 in 57 on the return journey, so a stationary engine of 15 h.p. was erected at the top of the bank to draw the trains up the hill, leaving the "Invicta" only the South Street level of one mile to work.
Horses were used at different times to haul trains between Tyler Hill and Clowes Wood engine stations, also-after the abandonment of the "Invicta" altogether as a tractive power-for a short time on the South Street level.  This arrangement lasted only a short while, a rope being attached to the Church Street engine for working the South Street level, and ropes being again used on the Tyler Hill level, and the railway continued to be worked solely by stationary engine power until the affiliation of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway with the South-Eastern Railway in 1846.  The hooking and unhooking of the ropes generally fell to the lot of the guard or brakesman, who also issued the tickets en route.  The time taken for the completion of the entire journey of six miles was about one hour.

A most interesting object connected with the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway is the ancient locomotive "Invicta" the only locomotive ever possessed by the old Company.  This antique engine has a history of its own, and it is therefore necessary to devote a rather large amount of space to it.  The "Invicta" was built to the designs of the late Mr. Stephenson at his world-renowned works in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and is the immediate successor to his famous "Rocket," being No. 12 on the engine builders books, the "Rocket" being No. 11.  Brough to Whitstable by sea, and delivered to the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway Company in February, 1830, the "Invicta" originally had four coupled wheels 4ft. in diameter, and two inclined outside cylinders 10in. by 8in. driving onto the rear axle, with a boiler 8ft. long by 3ft. 3in. in diameter, and similar to the "Rocket" maltitubular, the number of tubes therein being twenty-five of 3in. diameter.  Attached to the boiler was a rectangular firebox giving a grate area of 6ft.  The working steam pressure of the boiler was 40lb. to the square inch, and the total heating surface 192 sq. ft., obtained as follows: tubes 157 sq. ft. and firebox 39 sq.ft.  The regulator and levers controlling the machine were placed about midway on the left-hand side of the boiler, to which was fixed a footboard 3ft. by 1ft. 3in. for the accomodation of the driver.  The stoking was performed by another man from the tender.  The weight of the locomotive in working order, exclusive of tender, was 6 tons 5 cwt.
In the above form the little locomotive worked successfully for about eight years whin in about 1838 some person conceived the retrogresive idea of adding an additional ring to the boiler, removing the firebox, and substituting for the tubes a single 20ft. flue.  This idea, unfortunately for the "Invicta" and the railway company, was carried into effect, with the consequence that the locomotive in its new condition failed to make steam, and shortly afterwards had to be abondoned altogether as a means of tractive power, and was placed in a shed at the North Lane terminus, where it remained until taken into safe-keeping by the South-Eastern Railway in the 'forties.' So its working career ended.  The "Invicta's" driver was a Northumbrian named Forster, who returned to the North and drove for many years on the Stockton and Darlington line.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Sentinel S4 on February 12, 2015, 06:55:25
Thank you Scoop. Very interesting article.

S4.
Title: Re: The Canterbury & Whitstable Railway
Post by: Longpockets on February 18, 2018, 19:47:59
I believe currently Canterbury City Council is looking for a new home for Invicta. Its relocation is being considered to the following sites Whitstable Museum, The Beany, Whitstable Harbour and The Poor Priests Hospital in Canterbury.

I visited Whitstable Museum on Friday and it currently has reduced size Invicta on display which was made a few years ago. There was a notice by it asking for help in showing what the various levers did, not sure if they are still looking for help on this. I thought I railway members might be able to help.