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SideTracked - Chislehurst. JTB's off the rails 1 Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 08/08/2014
1 out of 5
2.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

This Cache has been placed to join the ever growing and popular Side tracked series. More information can be found on (

The coming of the railway to Chislehurst was the start of a new phase for Chislehurst. It was completed shortly before the Emperor Napoleon's family arrival here in 1870 enhanced Chislehurst's desirability as a place to live, and enabling London merchants and professionals to live here and commute into the City with ease. The present station is at the south-western boundary of Chislehurst, not because the residents wanted it as far away as possible from the village, but because the line followed the shortest and most convenient route from Lewisham to Tonbridge. It does have the happy consequence (perhaps not so happy for commuters) that the station and related traffic is some way from the High Street and Royal Parade.

In June 1862, South Eastern Railways obtained Royal Assent on 30th June 1862 for a twenty-four mile cut-off line between what is now St Johns, and Tonbridge. This reduced the distance from London Bridge to Tonbridge and beyond by some 12½ miles.

1,500 workers ensured the line was opened to traffic as far as Chislehurst by July 1865. The first station here was a temporary affair, named 'Chislehurst & Bickley Park', and remained the end of the line for just under three years.

When the line reached Sevenoaks Tubs Hill in March 1868, a new station was built at Chislehurst, 600 yards south of the existing platforms. Two platform faces were in evidence, coupled with a large single-storey red brick building with three pitched roof sections, the latter located on the 'down' side. This attractive structure is that which is still in evidence today and is of typical SER design, with similar examples appearing at Ashford and Tonbridge in the same year. What is interesting to note, however, is that both Orpington and Sevenoaks were subject to cheap clapboard structures – Chislehurst's brick building perhaps reflected the likely clientele it would have received, there being a small number of large properties in the area. A marginally smaller version of the main building was also provided on the 'up' platform, sitting directly opposite its 'down' side counterpart.

The 'Bickley Park' suffix did not last beyond the life of the first station, its removal coinciding with the opening of the Dartford Loop Line in September 1866. Passenger trains finally began running through to Tonbridge and beyond from May 1868.

To the south of the station the Up and Down Chatham Loop lines give access to the Chatham Main Line where the next station is St Mary Cray. There are normally no direct trains between Chislehurst and St Mary Cray, as trains that use the connecting curves usually run non-stop between London Bridge and either Rochester or West Malling.

You are looking for a 35mm style pot BYOP please.


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