Tenterden - Northiam - Bodiam
Kent & East Sussex Railway


50th Anniversary Gala weekend will celebrate ‘golden’ past, present and future

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd June 2024





Southern Railway U Class No 31806

On loan from Swanage Railway, kindly sponsored by Rapido Trains 

31806 will be the first of its type to visit the K&ESR since its sister locomotive 1618, which was restored at Tenterden, left for the Bluebell Railway in 1977. More significantly, it is the first appearance of a U Class locomotive hauling passenger trains in the county since the end of Southern Region steam in 1967. 31806, which is owned John Bunch, has been kindly made available from its home at the Swanage Railway with the generous sponsorship of Rapido Trains and will be operating services between Tenterden and Bodiam throughout the weekend.


Standard 4

Hunslet Austerity No. 75008 'Swiftsure'

Hunslet Austerity No25 'Northiam'

A1X Terrier 2678 'Knowle'

Subject to completion of repairs

Hunslet No.15 'Hastings'

Ruston 'Rowntree No1'

If you're over 18 and have always fancied trying your hand at being a driver, the popular ‘driver for a tenner’ experience will be available at Tenterden Town Station between 11am to 4.30pm using 1958-built Ruston Diesel-Electric locomotive "Rowntree No1"

Saturday 1st June

1974 Opening Ceremony re-enactment

The weekend’s celebrations will start at 9:45am on Saturday 1st June at Tenterden Town Station with a re-enactment of the 1974 opening ceremony before the first public train leaves at 10:20am. The original ceremony was conducted by the then MP for Ashford William (later Lord) Deedes, who was instrumental in ensuring that the line was reopened.

The Adur Concert Band based in West Sussex playing sets from 11:30 till approximately 13:15

(Sunday The Ashford Concert Band will be playing from 10:15 until 13:00)

Model Railway Exhibition at Tenterden  

Enjoy the exhibition, including a 28ft long model railway by The G Scale Society!

Browse the model trader stalls, plus market stalls from local business:

Invicta Models
Dougs Model trains
Carriage and Waggon Train (Saturday only)
Heritage in Motion
On the rails
The Network South East Railway Society
Harrison Brown Models
Hoppers End Model Railway

Traction Engines at Tenterden


Trade stands at Tenterden

Enjoy a glass of Woodchurch wine or take bottle or two home with you!

Northiam Honey,

Thorne Hedgehog rescue (Saturday)

Little Sugar co selling sweet baked goods

Sew cute, Sew Wild with children’s clothes

Robaligh Creations, Decoupage gifts

E Roots Creations, Kentish blacksmith and demonstrations

Woodworking workshop demonstrations

Wood turned Gifts and homeware

Crochet + knitted gifts

Crystal jewellery, cards + box frames

Pocket money toys + tombola (Sunday only)

Silver jewellery

Upcycled gifts

Rolvenden Locomotive Depot (Saturday only)

An exclusive opportunity to visit the Rolvenden Locomotive Workshop

10:35 11:20 12:05 14:20 15:50 


Bodiam station

HopsAt Bodiam station, take a trip down memory lane when you learn more about the fascinating history of hop picking that once surrounded the area.

Have you ever been up close to the magic ingredient that helps to make your beer? Visit our hop garden where you will be able to touch and smell the hops.....!






Miniature traction engine display (Saturday only) and traditional Morris dancing through the day

Worthing larks,

Roses are Red

Anderda Morris

Wild Women

Ruxleys Crew

Rheda's Dream

The historic Cavell van will be open for viewing

Robertsbridge Junction Station

Exclusively for K&ESR Freedom ticket holders, Bodiam and Robertsbridge Junction Stations will be linked by a Heritage bus service

The line between Robertsbridge Junction & Northbridge Street will be open for first time in 11 years, with shuttle trains operated by locomotive ‘Britannia’



GB Railfreight owned Class 73/1, a historic British electro-diesel locomotive and 1960s rail transport icon, will be joining the line-up in a stunning new livery, developed in collaboration with GB Railfreight and railway heritage experts

Connecting to Robertsbridge

The Gala weekend celebrates not only the achievements of the last 50 years of the K&ESR, but also looks forward to its next chapter in collaboration with the Rother Valley Railway - which is preparing to start the groundwork for restoration of the line between Robertsbridge and Bodiam.

K&ESR Freedom Tickets enable you to travel to and from Robertsbridge via a heritage bus service from Bodiam Station. Using the same ticket, you can then ride on one of the frequent shuttle trains between Robertsbridge Junction and Northbridge Street, hauled by special guest locomotive No 70000 Britannia, over a stretch of line that has not been in operation since 2013.


At Robertsbridge Junction you can find out more about the rebuilding of the line and view the restored turntable from Hither Green Depot.

Please note

As the Robertsbridge Junction Station is still under construction, there is limited car parking available. If you wish to start your visit at Robertsbridge Junction, we suggest you make use of the SouthEastern train services. Regrettably there is currently no ramped access to the platform at Robertsbridge or disabled facilities on the vintage bus/Northbridge Street shuttle trains.

Train Timetables


The K&ESR operates heritage locomotives and carriages over infrastructure using historic systems. The primary purpose of our operation is the provision of a heritage travel experience and not transport to a precise timetable. The K&ESR will use every reasonable endeavour to operate the advertised train service but cannot guarantee that services will be hauled by a particular locomotive or type of traction. Locomotives planned to be operating on any day are for indicative purposes only and are subject to change without notice. Unforeseen circumstances or events may entail alterations or cancellations. No refunds or compensation are payable in the event that planned haulage has to be substituted.

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