Medway Valley Line Station History
The Medway Valley Line was originally built to support industry. It was built in two separate stages. The first stage was opened in September 1844. According to The Times the main purpose for the railway was to move hops and fruit between Paddock Wood and Maidstone. In June 1856, the second part of the line was opened from Maidstone to join the North Kent Line at Strood to support several industries. The main industries being the cement works which were located at Cuxton, Halling and Snodland and also the Newsprint industry located at New Hythe (Aylesford Paper Mill).
Here is a collection of images from the past and information about some of our stations.
Aylesford Station opened on 18th June 1856. In 1986, a two year project was undertaken to restore the station building.
East Farleigh Station opened on the 25th September 1844. In 1961 the track was electriifed and the goods shed closed.
Maidstone West Station opened on 25th September 1844. A footbridge and new roofs were provided between 1897- 1898.
Snodland Station opened on 18th June 1856 with two tracks. The goods shed closed 10th June 1963 and demolished in the 1980s.
Wateringbury Station opened on 25th September 1844 and a signal box finally erected in 1892. In 1960 a footbridge was installed and in 1989 the ticket office was closed.
Beltring Station opened on 25th September 1844. In 1991 the halt was rebuilt with concrete to replace the wooden platforms.
Halling Station started being used from 1st March 1890. The signal box was decommissioned in February 1972.
New Hythe Station opened on 9th December 1929 to mainly serve the huge paper mill (Aylesford Newsprint).
Strood Station was named Rochester station until 1849. A two track line was added to Maidstone in 1856. In 2019 the station building was modernised.
Yalding Station opened 25th September 1844 and became part of the Medway Valley Line in 1856. In 1986 automatic barriers replaced the signal box.
Cuxton Station opened on 18th June 1856. In 1961 a steel footbridge was erected. The signal box is still in operation.
Maidstone Barracks opened on 1st July 1874. In 1961 the wooden staircase from the road was replaced with concrete.
In 1842, Paddock Wood Station was originally known as Maidstone Station and linked London to Dover. Two years later it changed it’s name to link to Strood via Maidstone.
Tonbridge Station was opened in June 1839 as part of the London to Dover line. As well linking to Strood, it also forms many other links including Hastings.
Kent CRP would like to thank Roy Moore and the Kent Photo Archive, David Glasspool from Kentrail, Ian Paterson, Timothy Saunders, David Timothy, Richard Lynsdell, Charlie Foord , Colin Price, Nigel Chatfield and Brian Dolan for their permission to use copies of their photos. Thank you to the Snodland Historical Society for providing photos and Andrew Hann for providing information regarding the history of the Medway Valley Line. To find out more take a look at his book – The Medway Valley – A Kent Landscape Transformed.
We would also like to acknowledge Middleton Press for granting us permission to use their photos from their Strood to Paddock Wood book, the Maidstone Musuem for allowing us to purchase some historic photos and HMRS and the John Tatchell collection.
If you have any old historical photos or additional information, please do get in touch and we will be delighted to add them to the site.