Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Railway Echo No 11
Unmitigated blogs passim have frequently explored the peeling paint impotence of abandoned railway rolling stock. Some are known to have had the indignity of travelling their last miles on the back of a low-loader, and in south east Leicestershire there are enough phantom wagons leaning against hedges to make up a sizeable freight train. Many others, however, don't appear to have strayed very far from where they made their last creeking journeys. The Dungeness Peninsular is famed for old carriages gradually metamorphosing into respectable shacks, many towed here in the 1920's from the Southern Railway (who used the shingle as track ballast all over the south). Others were brought here in the 50s to serve as homes for the constructors of the nuclear power station. But this pale ghost is slightly off piste, within yards of the little branch line that ran from Rye down to Rye Harbour. Opened in 1854 the track was only ever used for freight, mainly for bringing flints from Dungeness to a neighbouring oil firm and chemical works. By 1955 it was almost derelict, but traces of its passage can still be seen. This carriage never became the long-corridored backbone of a larger dwelling, and when I first photographed it there were lacy net curtains at the windows. I must bow to more local knowledge to tell me if it's actually still here.