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Folkestone Harbour Railway Ltd

Most successful community rail routes are given names under which they can be easily known.   We believe that the proposed Tram-train service should be no exception.


Establishment of a Harbour


Until the coming of the railway Folkestone was a small fishing village which had a problem in that its jetties were constantly being wrecked by storms between 1703 and 1799.   In 1804 foresight by Lord Radnor petitioned Parliament for the building of a stone harbour.


Development of International Travel


Bankruptcy of the Harbour Company resulted in a chance purchase of the harbour by the South Eastern Railway.   They constructed the branch railway (believed to be the first in the world to be specifically for international travel) which was completed to the harbour in 1843 and the world's first rail-sea-rail service starting in 1849.


Folkestone - The Desirable Destination


Once the harbour railway opened Folkestone became part of the line of route between London and Paris and again Lord Radnor's response was to construct the fine buildings that promoted the town as the most fashionable destination for holidays and setting up home and by 1912 Folkestone Central was just 90 minutes from London.


Wartime Logistics Centre


In World War I Folkestone played host to Belgian refugees and provided a logistics base through which the British Expeditionary Force received troops, Red Cross staff, government and military leaders.   The area, known generically as "Hellfire Corner" in World War II has always been "on the front line" in the defence of the nation and because of this there is a considerable area history to today when it is proud to host the Royal Gurkha Rifles.


...and today?


We believe that the town and its surrounding area has much to promote it.   The proposed Tram-train service will again place the town as being forward looking by implementation of a local "green" transport which will, as with opening of the first international rail-sea-rail service, be the first community railway of its type.   Getting to this point without referencing back to the history would be unreasonable so we would aim to not only pull in new tourists but also to promote the development of new "green" transport so plan to market the route by the original logo adopted by supporters: -

Route Marketing Name