Saturday, September 19, 2015

Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway

After being derailed at Chilham I decided to regain my confidence with railways by riding on the narrow gauge Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch.

As Ben Goldacre (somewhat unexpectedly) says in the guidebook they sell you, this is a line built for pleasure. Many other heritage lines were built to serve back-breaking industries, but the RH&DR was built by two millionaires to show off their miniature locomotives.

That book also confirms that an armoured train operated on the line during the Second World War. But the clearance was so restricted that the gun had to be taken down each time it passed under a bridge.

Nothing though about the train full of policemen that arrives to catch the smugglers at the end of Malcolm Saville's The Elusive Grasshopper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was on the RHDR yestreday. The picture of the two boys could have been my son and his friend (but weren't).

While the Armoured Train did not claim any enemy victims, the RHDY does - in a rather unlikely way.

It is said a Stuka bombed the railay and hit a locmotive. The driver was thrown clear without injury as the boiler blew up, throwing debris high into the air. Some of the bits hit the stuka, killing the pilot and destroying the plane. The locomotive was rebuilt and back in service 5 months later.

The railway also played a significant role in Operation Pluto in 1944/1945 – the construction of the "PipeLine Under The Ocean" to provide the Allied troops in France with fuel.