We are an integral part of Railfuture's London and South East regional branch. We aim to be the leading independent advocate for the rail industry and rail users in Kent, working closely and co-operatively with Rail User Groups, Community Rail Partnerships and other stakeholders in the area.


Our area covers Kent and south east London.

Within Kent Division's area there are six Rail User Groups affiliated to Railfuture:
The local Community Rail Partnerships in our area are the Kent CRP, the Darent Valley CRP, the Creative Isle CRP, the White Cliffs CRP, and parts of the re-named Southeast Communities Rail Partnership


The Division usually meets quarterly on the third Saturday afternoon, in a different venue around Kent.

The next Kent Division meeting will be on Saturday 17 February 2024. One topic will be Medway Council's consultation on Hoo St. Werburgh and Chattenden Neighbourhood Plan which closes on Monday 19 February.
The following meeting, in mid-May, will be in Faversham to coincide with our next campaign stall during the Faversham Festival of Transport.

The most recent Kent Division event was a campaign stall at the annual Erith Model Railway Show on 27/28 January 2024. Venue: The Longfield Academy, Main Road (B260), Longfield, Kent, DA3 7PH. 10.00-17.00 Saturday/16.00 Sunday. More info: Erith MRS

On Saturday 19 August, rendezvous was at Rochester station for an afternoon guided tour of the Hoo Peninsula (scene of a freight-only railway wanting to be upgraded to carry passengers again, to and from a new station at Hoo St. Werburgh serving thousands of planned new homes). See "The Overnight Freight Train / Delivering HS2 Tunnel Segments" YouTube from Geoff (All the stations) Marshall (15:29 duration).

On the weekend of 20/21 May the Division had a stall in the Guildhall, Market Place, Faversham to coincide with the annual Faversham Festival of Transport; we were joined by Kent CRP and Southeastern.

On Saturday 28th / Sunday 29th January 2023 Railfuture London & South East regional branch had a stall at Erith Model Railway Society Exhibition. Venue: The Longfield Academy, Main Road (B260), Longfield, Kent, DA3 7PH.

On 19/20 November 2022 Railfuture had a stall at Ashford International station as part of the Ashford 180 anniversary celebrations.

Over the weekend of 14-15 May 2022 the London & South East regional branch of Railfuture including its Kent Division had a stall in the Council Chamber of the Guildhall, Market Place, Faversham, in association with the Faversham Festival of Transport.

One topic in the 20 November 2021 meeting was Medway Council's second consultation on Future Hoo which will close on Monday 10 January 2022.

At our 15 May 2021 meeting guest speaker Alistair Lenczner of Expedition Engineering spoke on How a direct Ashford to Reading rail route can benefit Gatwick and avoid the need for a new Lower Thames Crossing. His presentation can be viewed here.

Kent County Council's consultation on Kent Rail Strategy 2021 closed Tuesday 17 November 2020; read Railfuture's response here. See the Consultation Report published 15 January 2021.
See the presentations to the 12th Kent Rail Summit on 13 October 2020 on KRS21 and from Network Rail and Southeastern.

A previous meeting, held online on 15 August 2020, considered the North & East Kent Connectivity Study for which Network Rail held the first in a series of stakeholder workshops on 21 July. A second area-wide workshop was held on 18 January 2021, and a third on 22 October 2021.

The most recent physical meeting was on 15 February 2020, in Tonbridge, and included discussion about the announcement from Medway Council of the £170million grant late last year from government's Housing Infrastructure Fund for Hoo Peninsula. See more in 'Activities' below.

The meeting on 23 November 2019, held in Rochester, was soon after the Housing Infrastructure Fund announcement for the Hoo Peninsula.

The 17 August meeting was held at Staplehurst Community Centre and included a general update on Kent Rail News and the impact of continuing to extend the current franchise rather than award a replacement. Although many positive improvements continue to be implemented by Southeastern despite the uncertainty, some significant issues were included in the Information to Tender (ITT) including additional and new replacement rolling stock and timetable enhancements in 2023.

Our meeting on 25 May 2019 was at the Bat and Ball station (Luggage Hall). The station has recently undergone a refurbishment led by the station adopters Sevenoaks Town Council and Friends of Bat and Ball station and we were treated to an inspiring presentation by Town Clerk and Chief Executive Linda Larter MBE.
All are welcome - members, non-members, Rail User Groups and other Rail Industry partners (it would be useful if you notified joint conveners Chris if you are planning to attend, but it is not mandatory). If you have any specific Kent issues you would like to discuss now or at future meetings, let us know via 'Contact' below.

Much is going on in the Kent Route Area, what with the recent transfer of Southeastern from Govia to the DfT's Operator of Last Resort, Network Rail's current North & East Kent Connectivity Study (they published the Kent Area Route Study back in 2018) and the development of Hoo Peninsula Railway. We want Railfuture involved and influencing OUR railway!

Division Convener is Chris Fribbins - see 'Contact' below.


As part of the London & South East Branch of Railfuture, the Kent Division has contributed to numerous consultations including Local Transport Plans, Local Development Frameworks, Multi-modal studies, Network Rail Route Utilisation Strategies and Route Studies, DfT franchise proposals, and proposed timetable changes.
Railfuture members participated in Kent County Council's latest Rail Summit on 15 October 2019; see the presentations from Southeastern, Network Rail, Eurotunnel, Eurostar, and KCC here.

Railfuture are promoting re-opening of the Hundred of Hoo branch line for passenger services on the existing but non-electrified freight line to support the historic, present and future housing and industrial growth in the Medway Local Plan (to 2035), and reduce reliance on the one road in and out. Working with the Kent Community Rail Partnership, some local parish councils and the Dickens Country Protection Society (an amenity group covering the area), the response from Medway Council and Network Rail has been encouraging and mention is now made in the developing Local Plan and Kent Route Study. On 1st November 2019 the Council received this decision on a Housing Infrastructure Fund Bid of £170 (£86m Road, £67m Rail): MHCLG grant; see too 23 November 2019 and 15 February 2020 meetings above. One station/transport hub is being suggested on the outskirts of Hoo St. Werburgh which is carrying the majority of the housing growth and is being 'upgraded' from a large village to a small town. In March-April 2020 Medway Council consult with this brochure on Plannning for growth in the Hoo Peninsula.
See Hoo-rail victory, and the presentation to Gravesend Railway Enthusiasts Society on 21 October 2021 by branch Vice-Chair Roger Blake with Kent Division Convenor Chris Fribbins.
Enjoy watching Ride the Hoo, Kent line in 1958 and four decades later The Hundred of Hoo Railway Story.
Hoo Junction to the Isle of Grain from the cab - only private videos: part 1 and part 2 (the site of Sharnal Street station is at c.09.55 minutes, between first the new and then the old road bridge).

One of the Division's members plays the leading role in advocating a cross-Thames tram connection between Thurrock and Dartford / Gravesham, KenEx Thames Gateway Tramlink. See the article on page 2 of the January 2023 newsletter of Future Transport London. Also the presentation to L&SE branch's AGM in 2018.

View two presentations to Tunbridge Wells Public Transport Forum on Thursday 7 February 2019:
Branch Vice-Chair's on A rail future for Tunbridge Wells.
Network Rail's on Continuous Modular Strategic Planning.

The branch AGM on 28 April 2018 had a Light Rail theme, with a speaker on a Lower Thames Crossing KenEx Thames Transit; (view the presentation here.)

View Convener's presentation to Division meeting in Maidstone on Saturday 17 February 2018.

Stay up-to-date with all Railfuture and other events and other key rail dates here.

Catch up with other London & South East rail development campaigning news in the regional branch newsletter railse here. Also subscribe there to the branch's new monthly e-newsletter inter-railse.

Take Part

We campaign for sustainable growth in market share for rail transport. We therefore support initiatives which will improve the attraction of rail and create a successful, financially secure rail industry: sufficient capacity, efficient customer service, simpler fares, improved connectivity, faster schedules, network enhancements and improved competitiveness with other modes of transport. If you share these ideals please contact us. We welcome new members, and people to share practical ideas and to help put plans into action.


Email: chris.fribbins at railfuture.org.uk

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