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Folkestone Harbour Railway Ltd
Folkestone is going places!
It has a prestigious on going Seafront Development proposal to build 1,000 new homes adjacent to the harbour area together with additional retail outlets. Simultaneously a large scale housing development is currently being undertaken at Shorncliffe with proposals for an even larger project just out of town at Otterpool.
Photo above: Harbour Signal Box - restored by Folkestone Harbour Co
The Remembrance Line Association since our inception in 2008, has also gone through rigorous change, adjusting objectives and proposals to suit an ever fluid social and economic climate. Some years ago we gained agreement from English Heritage for the viaduct and swing-bridge to be Grade II listed, an earlier contribution of ours to preserving the infrastructure of the Folkestone Harbour Railway. The Harbour owner has subsequently massively invested in refurbishing the Harbour Arm, the Station Masters House, Signal Box and surviving section of the old customs house - all to be retained within the development. These have all been thoughtfully restored to a high standard. As a major public tourist attraction and leisure facility they have significantly boosted Folkestone’s local seasonal business.
Currently we are seeking to place an efficient “green” tramway and pedestrian thoroughfare on the railway formation leading to and from the Seafront Development and improve the town mobility for both residents and visitors. We intend this to be a project conducted by the community for the community. We have realised from an early date that whatever we decided to do it would necessarily blend with the local vista and involve local residents via consultation and their direct involvement.The ‘green’ aspect of our proposed will involve the establishment of extensive community gardens initially between the Rocksalt Restaurant and the former Folly Rd level crossing. The tramway will utilise the existing ‘down’ line of the railway, much the old up track already having been removed. Hopefully we will be able to include an element of ‘Park & Ride’. We have already commenced discussions with local community groups.
Ultimately as a first phase we aim to provide a Tram-train
service to connect with HS1 services at Folkestone Central Station to and from London, provide a park and ride service to reduce traffic within the town and ease long stay parking, partially linking these to the award winning coastal park and, using the Leas Lifts, to the town Centre.
Much of our first phase capital investment has been secured thus our project can be made viable and we can confidently engage with the appropriate stakeholders. Once this has been consolidated we can look at starting the long haul to re-extending to Central Station and longer term to the extensive new and proposed developments at Shorncliffe and Otterpool respectively.
Photo above: During a recent tidy up of the branch looking north towards Folly Rd Level Crossing.
To date we are in protracted negotiations with Folkestone & Hythe District Council to secure the Harbour Railway Formation and at last make that long awaited start. The current 2020 lockdown has caused the inevitable delay – hopefully we will not have to wait too long.
Our Association’s main project is our proposed green tramway - but focusing for so long on the harbour area has brought us into the maritime world. A number of our members are certainly more at home with boats rather than trains. Accordingly we are in the process of acquiring the former Folkestone based pleasure vessel and Dunkirk little ship ‘Southern Queen’. She needs extensive restoration and we will be applying for separate funding for this purpose – keep a look out for details on our news page.
In the meantime we take pleasure in inviting you to join the Remembrance Line Association and help us achieve our goals.