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Dartford

Whilst photographs on the SEmG picture pages are mostly of things specific we are pleased to be able to display this remarkably atmospheric photograph taken by Michael Taylor at Dartford in 1970. Note from left to right - the cab of a Bulleid design EPB unit, BR "Brute" trolleys, SR concrete post with BR(S) station totems attached, signal box, 4/6/8 car unit stop board, semaphore signal with shunting signals below, SR concrete platform sides, third rail laid the opposite side of the running rails to the platform, class 73 loco stabled and SR concrete yard lamps. Such photographs are valuable to modellers trying to create the correct atmosphere for their layouts, and indeed good for those of us trying to remember the details of how it used to be.
 
Dartford

photograph by Michael Taylor

 
Dartford is served by three railway lines and four routes from the London direction and main line services go further east to the Medway towns, coastal towns and ports. A station was first opened at Dartford in 1849 on the North Kent Line. There are two staggered island platforms hosting an intensive service of both through trains and terminating commuter services from London. All platform roads are currently reversible.
 
Dartford

photograph by David Glasspool

 
A very similar shot, taken in winter 2002, shows a lot of changes! Perhaps the most obvious are to the signalling where the old Signalbox has gone, to be replaced by a "Portacabin" style, rather uninteresting, building and all the semaphore signals have been replaced by four aspect colour lights. Then there's the Rolling Stock which has been replaced by Classes 465 and 466, new station lighting, the absence of the old BR(S) Totems and the shortening of Platforms 3 and 4.

The road which dominates the 1970 view, can still be seen in the background of this picture. Money has, apparently, been allocated to the rebuilding of Dartford Station, thus if this view changes once again, David will try to get another shot.

 
Dartford Here we have another photograph, taken from the same place but looking in the opposite direction, towards the current structure.

photograph by David Glasspool

 
The current viaduct on to which the line from the station, towards London, extends.

photograph by David Glasspool

Dartford
 
Dartford The dark block in the centre was built as the Area Managers offices for British Railways. With the demise of BR it was given over to the train operating company with train crew staffing. The structure to the left of it is the modern booking hall. The smaller brick-built building on the right is the only original building which accompanied the old station, which was demolished in 1972. It is now used as the train crews' " mess hut ". A new Panel Signal box was built alongside the position of the old semaphore signal box at the Stone Crossing end of the station.

photograph by David Glasspool

Dartford in the snow, 8 January 2003

An eastward view of Dartford station viaduct, looking up at the station. This side of the viaduct wall is original, since it cannot presently be widened in this direction due to the road (although future plans may change this).

photograph by David Glasspool

Dartford
 
Dartford The approach to Dartford Junction - looking east towards the station and the oncoming lines, which form Dartford Junction (behind the camera). It is nice to see the point heaters are functioning correctly!

photograph by David Glasspool

 
Looking in the other direction at Dartford Junction, where the lines divide just outside Dartford station. The lines to the left go towards London via Sidcup and were known as loop lines. The lines on the right go via Woolwich or Bexleyheath, known as the North Kent Lines. The junction Signalbox closed on 1st November 1970, when control was transferred to the Dartford Panel.

photograph by David Glasspool

Dartford
 
Dartford The Loop taken from a local level crossing. The two lines in the background indicate the start of the "Crayford Loop Lines" which is not to be confused with the "Dartford Loop Line". Although situated in Dartford, they simply create an entire circle in-between the dividing lines, enabling trains to bypass Dartford altogether - e.g. A train from Sidcup can go through Woolwich by coming down to the "loop ", cutting out Dartford Station altogether and continuing up the Woolwich line - effectively doing a U-turn manoeuvre. This often leads to confusion on a station's electric timetable, due to one often forgetting about the 'loop' facility!

photograph by David Glasspool

 
The lines shown from the crossing were called the Crayford Loop lines or "The Crayford Spurs" and were controlled from a signalbox at each end of the up and down lines called Crayford Spur A on the North Kent line end, and Crayford Spur B on the Loop line end. Both worked with Dartford Junction Signal Box and either Crayford (later Sidcup) for the loop line or Crayford Creek for the North Kent Line

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This page was last updated 12 December 2013

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