London, Chatham and Dover Railway

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Lcdr_badge.jpg
Crest of the LCDR on the first Blackfriars Railway Bridge

The London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) was a railway company that operated in south-eastern England between 1859 and 1923 before grouping with three other companies to form the Southern Railway. Its lines ran through London and eastern/northern Kent, and formed a significant part of the Greater London commuter network. From the start the railway was in an impecunious position.

Contents

East Kent Railway

The LCDR began life as the East Kent Railway (EKR). Its first line was that from Strood near Rochester to Faversham, opened in two parts:

At this stage the EKR changed its name to the LCDR (1859), even though, as yet, Dover had not been reached..

London, Chatham and Dover Railway

Second London line

  • 1 June 1864: On this date the first section of railway to serve the City of London, when the line from Herne Hill to Blackfriars Bridge station (south of the river), was opened
  • 1 June 1865: Ludgate Hill station opened (closed 3 March 1929) across the river. In 1886, St Pauls station was opened by the South Eastern Railway: it was reached on a parallel bridge across the river.

Later openings

Formation of the South Eastern & Chatham Railway

On 1 January 1899 the undertaking of he LCDR was, by arrangement, joined with that of the South Eastern Railway for united working under a Management Committee composed of the directors of the two Companies. The arrangement was confirmed by Act of Parliament on 5 August 1899 by the South Easatern and London, Chatham and Dover Railay Act, 1899.

The rolling stock and steamboats of the two Companies were thereafter worked as one concern. Competing stations in the same town were closed - as happened at Ashford, where the LCDR had a terminus. Between 1902-1904, connections were built to allow LCDR trains to allow through running on ex-SER lines: branch lines and unprofitable stations belonging to both companies were rationalised. [See ].

Line details

Principal engineering works

  • Blackfriars Bridge: 933 ft (279m) long
  • Battersea Bridge: 740 ft (222m)
  • Viaduct carrying extension to Blackfriars: 742 brick arches, 94 girder bridges

Steepest gradient

  • Rochester Bridge - Sole Street: five miles at 1:100

Tunnels

  • Shepherd's Well Tunnel: 2376 yds (2138m)
  • Sydenham Hill Tunnel: 2200 yds (1980m)

Locomotive Works

  • Battersea: the SER works at Ashford took over locomotive building for the joint concern

Rolling stock

The colours of locomotives and carriages were in dark maroon. Locomotive numbers were renumbered from 460 upwards when the joint concern came into being.

1923 Grouping

In 1923 the LCDR and the SER, the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR), and the London and South Western Railway (LSWR) were joined to form the Southern Railway.

References used

  • The South Eastern & Chatham Railway (O.S.Nock, Ian Allen Ltd,1961) - particularly for the EKR history
  • Railway Year Book 1912 (Railway Publishing Company)
  • Railways of the Southern Region (Geoffrey Body, PSL Field Guide, 1989)
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