Soak in the sights, sounds and smells of a venerable route with almost 200 years of history, but which still runs both passenger and freight services across the Kentish countryside. With a range of locos and multiple units tearing down the tracks between lovingly rendered, true-to-life stations this is the route for all fans of English rail!
The South Eastern Railway was established in 1836 to build a railway line which would link London and the coastal town of Dover, a key port with connections to mainland Europe. The line was sedate, but bustling. Passenger, fruit and hops traffic became a staple of the line between Maidstone and Paddock Wood, and despite opposition from residents, and even the Mayor of the county town, there was little denying that the railway was proving beneficial. So beneficial in fact, that it was decided to extend the line further north, continuing to follow the path of the stunning Medway Valley.
One striking feature of the route is that the Medway Valley Line retained its semaphore signalling. It would not be until 2005 that the line was finally brought up to modern standard with colour-light signalling, however some still remain open and can be seen in-game, especially at stations like Cuxton where the level crossing is still hand-operated gates.
Today, the line is a community rail service operated by Southeastern. The same service pattern is in effect, and is typically formed of 3-car Class 375/3 Electrostars, although Class 466s are used on occasion, and Class 465s have also been used in years prior. An extra service pattern was trialled in 2011 and is now permanent, Southeastern Highspeed Class 395s operate in the morning and evening peaks to Maidstone West, calling only at Snodland before heading to/from London St Pancras.
When brought into Train Simulator, the Medway Valley Line will complement the Chatham Main Line by bringing you a quieter side to Southeastern services while unlocking freight potential across the picturesque countryside. Kent is called “The Garden of England” for a reason – so get out there and see for yourself!
48 mile route From London Victoria to Orpington & Rainham via Kent House and Denmark Hill
27 mile route from Strood to Tonbridge, including Tonbridge West Yard
7 mile route from Strood to Gravesend, including Hoo Junction
BR Class 59/0 in Blue & Grey Livery
BR Class 59/2 in DB Schenker Livery
BR JNA, JHA, MEA, MFA and MXA Wagons in various liveries
BR Class 465/0 in Southeastern ‘Grey Stripe’ livery
BR Class 465/1 in Southeastern ‘Blue Stripe’ livery
BR Class 375/3/6/7 in Southeastern Dark Blue livery
BR Class 377/1/3 in Southern, ex. Southern and Southeastern Dark Blue liveries