Ashford via Maidstone East Line
|Ashford via Maidstone East Line|
The Ashford via Maidstone East Line diverges from the Chatham Main Line at Swanley Junction (after Swanley), proceeds down the Darenth valley (via a Tunnel to Eynsford) where the line diverges off the Sevenoaks line (via Bat and Ball) at Otford. It continues via Borough Green & Wrotham to Maidstone East, which leads onto Ashford and on to east Kent.
The line is two track and electrified to 750v DC.
Services on the Line are run by Southeastern. Services run to primarily London Victoria, with some peak services to London Blackfriars. Hourly fast off-peak services run to Cannon Street, with a few terminating at Charing Cross instead. During the daytime off-peak, the slowest trains from London Victoria terminate at Maidstone East, in the bay platform (Platform 3). All other services continue at least as far as Ashford International, with some (mainly in the mornings) running beyond Ashford to Canterbury West, Margate or Ramsgate.
The line was built by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway from their first line (the Chatham Main Line). Upon the creation of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway the original Ashford terminus was demolished and the line extended to the South Eastern Railway's Ashford station. The line was electrified (750v DC third rail) to Maidstone East by Southern prior to World War Two. Electrification was completed under the 1955 BR Modernisation Plan.