Keeping the K&ESR at it’s best is an expensive business – the income from operating trains barely covers costs, despite the superb support we receive from our team of dedicated volunteers. Donations are therefore an important source of income and are particularly important for projects – such as those below

Terrier 150 Appeal

‘Terrier’ locomotives are synonymous with the K&ESR – No.3 ‘Bodiam’ first came to the line in May 1901 and with her 150th Birthday in 2022, we’re seeking your help in returning her to steam & helping us tell the story of these fascinating locomotives.

You can find out more about the project and how you can help by visiting the Terrier Trust website

Terrier 150 Appeal

Securing the future of the Wealden Pullman

We’re working on an ambitious investment programme to enhance and secure the future of the Wealden Pullman dining train – and we need your help! Visit the Visit the Kitchen Car Project page

Wealden Pullman


Along with many other heritage & tourism organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has forced temporary closure to visitors just at the time when our finances are at their lowest ebb, following the winter maintenance closure. We are therefore seeking donations to help our charity through this extraordinary period. Donations of any amount are welcome!!/DonationDetails

GWR Railcar Appeal

We need to raise £51,000 to complete the restoration of this historic vehicle, the first of its type to enter service on 4th June 1940. With your support, we can ensure this important part of railway history will continue to give pleasure to visitors for years to come. Donate here

GWR Railcar

Gifts and Legacies

  • Do you have a happy memory of the Kent and East Sussex Railway or even of railways in general?
  • Do you appreciate the effort that has been put into preserving the K&ESR?
  • Do you want to ensure your legacy makes a difference and provides enjoyment to generations to come?

Whatever your reason, leaving money to the Railway through your will means the restoration, enhancement and development of the K&ESR can be achieved. It is also tax efficient! Legacies to the K&ESR charity are exempt from tax – usually this also benefits others you name in your will.

The Kent & East Sussex Railway is a not for profit historical and educational charity (Registered Charity No. 262481) with the objectives of preserving the line between Tenterden and Robertsbridge as an example of rural light railway.

How to remember the K&ESR in your Will

If you have already made a will, it is straightforward to add a codicil that modifies an existing will. An example of wording you can use is shown here

What can I leave to the K&ESR?

There are three types of legacy:

  • Residuary: the whole of the estate, or a percentage of it after other specific gifts and expenses have been made. This allows for the legacy value to be maintained in real terms. An example of wording you can use is shown here
  • Pecuniary: a specific sum of money, such as £1,000. An example of wording you can use is shown here
  • Specific Gift: eg, property, an item of value, or shares. An example of wording you can use is shown here

In addition, as you no longer have to buy an annuity when you retire, the capital remaining in a pension fund can be distributed as you wish. It is not considered to be part of your estate and is not covered by your will. You should specify how this asset is dealt with by a nomination form or “letter of wishes”. If you die after the age of 75 there is normally a tax charge that can be up to 45% but if you specify the Kent and East Sussex Railway charity as the beneficiary this will not apply.

Specifying how the money will be spent

Terrier at BodiamWe would prefer that any money left to the K&ESR is made without restriction. This allows the trustees to allocate the funds where they are most needed. Legacies are not used for day to day operations, they are set aside for projects that will enhance the Railway in accordance with our charitable aims. If a project is specified in a will, but then either does not proceed or is completed before you die, the restricted funds are not usable. We are happy for you to state a wish for how the money is to be used as a rider to your will so we know what your intentions are without being unduly restrictive. If you have a specific request, then please contact [email protected] and we will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Memorial Garden and Commemoration Services

Memorial GardenIf you or your loved ones have the Kent & East Sussex Railway close to your heart, you might like to consider a personal plaque in our Memorial Garden.

Created at Northiam Station, adjacent to the track, this is a tranquil, appropriate spot to remember those who have had a particularly special relationship with the railway.

For a donation, the ashes of your loved one can be scattered in our Memorial Garden as a unique resting place. You may also wish to purchase a commemorative plaque* as a permanent feature which will be fixed to a special railway sleeper wall within the garden.

Plaque*The plaques, as illustrated, are made of very robust, rigid plastic which will be engraved with the wording of your choice. The plaques measure approximately 8 inches x 6 inches.

We can provide a range of catered packages for commemorative events. Please contact [email protected] to discuss your requirements.

Contact us for more information

You can write to us at The Fundraising Manager, Kent & East Sussex Railway, Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden TN30 6HE or email [email protected]

Thank you for your kind support