The Railway is run solely by volunteers to preserve the last remaining part of the Kent Coalfields and trains currently run from Shepherdswell to Eythorne (a round trip of 4 miles).
The East Kent Railway was constructed between 1911 and 1917 to serve the growing number of coal mines that were being sunk in the East Kent area. The consortium of mine and land owners envisaged a line that would link the collieries with the main line and a new port at Richborough. In fact, although Richborough became an important port during World War 1, the line did not cross the River Stour until after the war, by which time the port was in decline. Branch lines to Canterbury, Deal and Birchington were planned but never completed.
The East Kent Railway was formed in 1985 with the intention of preserving the remaining section of line, but it was not until 1989 that the volunteers were able to start the massive task of clearing the tangle of shrubs, trees and other vegetation that had claimed the railway since closure. Since then the EKR has transformed the station area and its environs at Shepherdswell. A replica of the original station building and platform has been built, access roads and car parks have been laid and toilets and picnic areas provided.
From the A2 between Canterbury and Dover – take the turning at the traffic lights sign posted for Shepherdswell, continue down this road into the village, you will pass a shop on your left, go over the railway bridge and take the next left sign posted for the EKR. The EKR station is adjacent to the main line railway station car park.
From the A256 between Sandwich and Whitfield – take the turning for Eythorne at the roundabout on the section between Tilmanstone and Whitfield. Continue along this road through the village of Eythorne, further along this road you will go over a level crossing, continue for about 400yds and turn right sign posted for the EKR.
South-Eastern Trains operate an hourly service every sunday from London, Medway towns Faversham, Canterbury and Dover.