Some of our most frequently asked questions…..
Many of our most frequently asked questions are shown below, but if you still need some assistance please contact us
Which engine will be in use when I come?
The locomotive rota is created once engines have returned back to the loco shed and they have been examined for their fitness to run. It is difficult to predict therefore what loco may be in use on any one day, but our helpful Customer Service assistants (01580 765155) will be pleased to advise which engine is sitting next to them that day!
What’s happening about the Robertsbridge extension?
The K&ESR is the registered charity that owns and operates the line between Tenterden and Bodiam.
The Rother Valley Railway is a separate organisation setup to rebuild the line between Bodiam and Robertsbridge. The RVR have made much progress in the project and you can find out the latest news by visiting their website at http://www.rvr.org.uk/
What age range are child tickets?
Child tickets are available for 3-15 year olds on most trains. For certain special events, such as ‘Santa Specials’ and a ‘Day Out with Thomas®‘, child ticket validity may be different – please check the event page. The evening Wealden Pullman is unsuitable for children and Sunday Lunch services are unsuitable for children under the age of five.
Tickets aren’t available online for today – are you fully booked?
Subject to availability, tickets are available online until midnight on the day preceding. If capacity remains, tickets will be available from the Ticket Office at the station, right up until just a few minutes before departure – don’t be late!
I use a wheelchair – will I be able to get on the train?
Our facilities have been carefully designed with the mobility impaired visitor in mind. We are proud to boast a specially designed coach called Petros, which is fitted with ramped wheelchair access, wide aisles, moveable seating and an accessible toilet. Petros is included in many of our trains, but please do get in touch with us if you need assistance.
Some of our other carriages have ramped access too and there is full wheelchair access to the Shop and Colonel Stephens Railway Museum at Tenterden Town Station.
We recommend that visitors with special needs or specific requirements telephone our Booking Office (01580 765155) for friendly assistance: accommodation may be reserved by telephone on any train service at no additional cost.
Do steam locos operate the timetable every day?
Our volunteers make every effort to run to the timetable as advertised. However heritage steam engines can be unpredictable. If a loco breaks down we will always do our best to provide a replacement service, but this may be diesel hauled as it takes many hours to raise steam on another loco. Please refer to our Terms & Conditions
During long periods of hot weather, we may need to add a diesel engine to a steam service so that it does not have to work as hard, reducing the risk of a lineside fire. During extreme hot weather we may be required to replace steam locos with diesel haulage to prevent the risk of fire. Follow us on social media (links at the top of this page) for the latest updates.
Can we take bicycles or buggies on the train?
When our standard timetabled trains are running to Bodiam, a small number of bikes can often be accommodated in the Guards Van without charge. You are welcome to put collapsible buggies in the Guards Van, but they cannot be accommodated at your seat. During Special Events we often provide a Buggy Park as there’s no room on the trains, but please check the relevant event page for details.
Can we bring our dog?
We welcome dogs when operating our standard timetables to Bodiam. However during Special Events restrictions may apply, so please check the relevant event page for details.
Please note that dogs (except for registered assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Colonel Stephens Railway Museum or in catering areas. Please ensure that your dog is kept under control on a short lead at all times. For the benefit of all visitors, dogs must not be allowed to climb on the seats or tables.
Can I travel in a First Class carriage?
First Class accommodation is available on some trains for a small supplement payable to the Ticket Inspector onboard the train.
Can I look round the engine shed?
Our locomotive engineering workshop at Rolvenden Station is not normally open to visitors, but there is a free-entry viewing gallery available. Organised tours of the loco works are available as part of our popular Behind the Scenes tours.
Our Carriage & Wagon workshop is at Tenterden and is also available for viewing as part of the Behind the Scenes tour.
Can I film the trains?
We welcome you to photograph our railway – why not share your images with us on our social media pages? There are a few simple rules to observe so that you remain safe:
- Never go into non-public areas or onto the railway track
- Do not lean out of the train when it’s moving
- If you’re crossing the line at a public footpath crossing, take care of uneven surfaces and cross directly – don’t linger
Drones can provide some stunning images, but they should not be used within 50m of a person, vehicle, building or structure, or overhead groups of people at any height. Read the simple guidance HERE
For all commercial photography and filming of the K&ESR, please contact us
Can I come into the station if I don’t want to travel?
When our usual trains to Bodiam are running, a Ticket or Platform ticket provides access to the station facilities and can be purchased at the Booking Office. During COVID restrictions and for some special events we are unable to provide Platform tickets.
Are you really all volunteers?
The vast majority of our staff are volunteers. We have a small number of paid staff, but most of these volunteer too! We welcome help from people of all backgrounds, but you do need to join as a member of the K&ESR first