Dartford Loop Line

150th Anniversary


This station opened with the line as "Eltham", subsequently becoming "Eltham & Mottingham" in 1892 and, finally, plain "Mottingham" in 1927. The "up" side was partially rebuilt in 1957, but much SER timber architecture can still be found on both platforms, in harmony with a lattice footbridge. Just 9½-miles out from Charing Cross, the station is still in decidedly leafy surroundings, as evidenced in this eastward view from 10th September 2016. Click the above photograph to see an interesting freight working through the station. © David Glasspool


Although Lee's SER "up" side timber main building was flattened in 1988, being replaced by today's structure, the station has nevertheless retained vintage canopies - although much modified - on both platforms. This was one of the original stations which opened with the line and, like that at Bexley, its elevated position saw the inclusion of a subway underneath the running lines. The "up" side subway entrance can be seen in the right foreground of this eastward view from 10th September 2016. © David Gasspool

Hither Green

A London-bound view of the Dartford Loop Line platforms at Hither Green from 10th September 2016 shows the only significant structure of SER origin remaining, that of the roofed lattice footbridge. Indeed, with the "Access of All" programme in full swing, which has seen many vintage footbridges recently taken down, the example at Hither Green presumably has only a short time ahead of it. The station opened on 1st June 1895, within the fork of the junction of Tonbridge Cut-Off and Dartford Loop Lines. The former had been commissioned to public traffic between North Kent Junction and Chislehurst on 1st July 1865, passenger operation being extended to Tonbridge on 1st May 1868. Most of the historic architecture at Hither Green was removed during a rebuilding scheme in the early 1970s. In addition to the footbridge, the remaining lengths of canopy on the "main line" platforms are still supported upon original stanchions. © David Glasspool

London Cannon Street

To round the section off, it seemed appropriate to include a photograph of Cannon Street, for the terminus also reached its 150th anniversary on 1st September 2016. Once boasting a huge iron-built arched trainshed and an opulent hotel, this station suffered heavy bombing raids during World War II. The consequence was that the bomb-damaged remains of the trainshed and hotel were removed in 1958 and 1963 respectively, later being replaced by soulless office blocks. The above was the scene on 1st January 2008. © David Glasspool