Hoo Junction Staff Halt
For more details on the marshalling yard, visit the Hoo Junction pages
Hoo Junction, located in-between Gravesend and Higham on the South Eastern Railway's North Kent Line, dates from 1882 during a period of intense rivalry between two Kent-based railway companies. The junction marked the beginning of a branch line across the Hoo Peninsula to the Isle of Grain, eventually terminating at Port Victoria. The terminus was rival to the 1876-opened Queenborough Port station of the London Chatham & Dover Railway. The Grain branch opened in two portions: Hoo Junction to Sharnal street on 1st April 1882 and Sharnal Street to Port Victoria on 11th September 1882.
A marshalling yard was opened around the junction by the Southern Railway on 20th February 1928, but it was not until 1956 that the staff halt emerged. The halt comprised of two short staggered platforms, the ''up'' and ''down'' sides east and west of the junction respectively, each having their own waiting shelter. Both platforms were of concrete construction, resting upon cast supports, but the design of the shelters differed considerably. Whilst that on the ''down'' side appears to be of concrete construction, the ''up'' side shelter is instead of timber construction, with overlapping panels. Throughout the 1970s, the Staff Halt had an hourly service each way, marked on the passenger timetable as ''for staff purposes only''.
Change is imminent in this eastward view from the ''down'' platform in early 1971, which shows a then soon-to-be-retired semaphore signal gantry. The left-hand semaphore was for the Grain branch, that in the centre was for the main line, whilst the arm on the right was for the facing crossover. Note the shunt signal at ground level, on the left, which was for the ''down'' yard. The white cross on the colour light installation indicated that it was not yet in use. This signal was going to be used for the main line; the colour light for the junction had yet to be installed. Notice on the right the water towers from steam days, in addition to the sea of catenary for the E5000 electric locomotives. © Roger Goodrum
2nd March 2003
The original ''down'' platform of the Staff Halt, complete with name board and shelter. © David Glasspool
25th February 2006
This is the lesser-seen ''up'' platform. Note that compared to the ''down'' platform, the shelter here is very different in appearance, being approximately half the size. It is of overlapping timber construction; what the SER would call ''clapboard''. © David Glasspool
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