The History of Kent
Copyright Kent Past 2010
History of Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
he Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway is a 15 in gauge light railway. The 13.5 miles
line runs from the Cinque Port of via , St. Mary's Bay,
and Romney Sands to .
Constructed during the 1920s and opened on 16 July 1927, the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway was the dream of millionaire racing drivers Captain J.E.P. Howey and Count Louis Zborowski. Zborowski was killed in a motor racing accident at Monza in the Italian Grand Prix. Before his death, he had ordered two locomotives to be built by Davy Paxman & Co, despite a site for the line not having been found. Howey asked Henry Greenly, the designer of the new locomotives, to help with the task of finding a site. It was Greenly who first suggested the Romney Marsh area.
Mountain Class 'Hercules' hauled the inaugural train, the eight miles of double track, from Hythe to New Romney, with guests including the mayors of the two towns, and General Sir Ivor Maxse. Howey was not happy with just 8 miles from New Romney to Hythe and in 1928; he extended the line 5.5 miles from New Romney to Dungeness of double track.
Although built as a public service, not a tourist attraction, the Railway became famous, and people flocked to ride on the smallest railway in the world -
At the outbreak of World War II, the line was requisitioned and played a major role in the building of
Following cessation of hostilities the line re-
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