Dumpton Park

 

Sadly, this station has seen declining fortunes from the outset. It formed part of the Southern Railway’s rationalisation of the Thanet lines, when the former SER and LC&DR lines were joined by a 1½-mile connecting loop, which subsequently saw these company’s respective Ramsgate stations close. Dumpton Park was a northern suburb of the expanding Ramsgate and a station, a considerable distance inland for holidaymakers, was provided here. The SR purchased enough land here for the building of two island platforms, as outlined in the original plans, but it soon became clear that the additional space would not be required. However, the company tried to remain optimistic and in doing so built a wide island platform following the curvature of the track, protected by the same design of riveted-steel canopy which appeared at Herne Bay in the same year. This in turn protected brick-built waiting facilities. The lines here were located down in a cutting, which necessitated the station building to be built at a higher level than the island. It was positioned perpendicular to the lines and linked with the platform by means of an enclosed footbridge, this of which was glazed and provided with a lift – certainly a luxury for a station which would see little traffic. The main building followed the outlines of that erected on the ‘’down’’ side at Broadstairs, but as will later be discovered, it was not so lucky. Despite the seemingly generous provisions at this station, there was some modesty: a small timber hut acted as the site’s signal cabin, being positioned immediately at the end of the island’s eastern ramp, in the company of a similarly sized structure housing train lamps. The new Thanet stations came into use on 2nd July 1926, excepting Dumpton Park, which instead saw it first passenger services seventeen days later, as an economy measure during a coal strike – a bad omen it was indeed. 

The station never experienced the levels of traffic its building company had hoped, fundamentally because it was positioned too far inland to make it practical for those heading for the beach. Ramsgate’s main station was also located a noticeable distance from the coast, comparatively speaking, but being the resort’s prime stop, this factor did not affect its patronage. The vacant land at Dumpton Park, which was initially sidelined for a second island platform, was left for nature to take over – it is perhaps initially surprising that this was not put to use as rolling stock storage or for the laying of goods sidings, but such facilities were readily available at nearby Ramsgate. Decline of the station began in 1959 with the closure of the diminutive signal cabin in response to the Kent Coast Electrification, it going out of use on 19th July of that year. The 1970s was a bad decade for Dumpton Park and the opportunity was taken to degrade the site’s facilities in every possible way. The canopy was virtually demolished in its entirety and only four original struts were retained to support a meagre pitched roof replacement of corrugated metal construction. The elevated station building was razed to the ground and the footbridge lost the whole of its glazing, became devoid of a roof, and lost its adjacent luggage lift. Tall metal lampposts appeared centrally on the island and the vacant land on the ‘’up’’ side became even more overgrown. Situated on a curve with a 30 MPH speed restriction, sadly, Dumpton Park has been transformed into one of the county’s most bleak and uninviting stations.
 


25th February 2006

 

Dumpton Park

Un-rebuilt Battle of Britain Class No. 34067 ''Tangmere'' rounds the curve as it enters Dumpton

Park on 25th February 2006 - thankfully just passing through! The land in the immediate foreground

was formerly host to the timber signal and lamp huts, whilst the overgrown area on the extreme

right was originally designated for an additional platform. The footbridge is now merely an empty

shell, lacking all of its previous luxuries of roof and glazing. The small canopy and tall lampposts

are also in evidence. David Glasspool

 


June 1985

 

4 Cep No. 1620 is observed leading another member of its class through the cutting at Dumpton

Park, on a Ramsgate to Victoria service. This unit was originally numbered 7205 and was ordered

as part of the sixth batch of 4 CEP units (Nos. 7205 to 7211) on 25th July 1961. John Horton

 


 

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