Ramsgate Maintenance Depot Open Day

On 29th August 2015, Southeastern organised an open day at Ramsgate Maintenance Depot for staff and their families and friends. The company very kindly invited your author along to set-up a stall to promote "Kent Rail", my very first public event in the name of the website. I had the opportunity to talk to a number of people, including railway workers (retired and current), about the website, most of whom had never heard of "Kent Rail".

There was plenty on offer at the event to visitors: it provided the opportunity to visit the cabs of the core EMU fleet which London commuters, such as myself, know well from our rush hour journeys, in addition to exploring the cavernous maintenance depot. The latter is a comparatively recent affair, having come into use during 2008, replacing a facility which dated back to the Kent Coast Electrification Scheme.

Classes 375, 376, 395, 465, and 466 were all represented at the event. Indeed, even historic traction was included, the eldest of these being a steam locomotive which was used during the construction of the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway in 1926. Bulleid Light Pacific No. 34067 "Tangmere" was visiting from its base at Southall, offering cab visits, and the main depot building housed Class 419 Motor Luggage Van No. 9002 and "Hastings" DEMU No. 1001 (the latter of which is in fact a hybrid of more than one unit). Even Margate-based Hornby Railways made an appearance, being situated in an appendix to the main depot building which housed components such as bogie wheels and EMU roof panels.

29th August 2015

Two of the steam visitors to the show were the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway's 15-inch gauge locomotive called "The Bug" and Bulleid Light Pacific No. 34067 "Tangmere". The latter was parked on the re-railing spur situated beside the rolling stock sidings and had travelled from Southall the previous day. © David Glasspool

29th August 2015

No. 375307 was one of two Class 375 units showing off the new dark blue "Electrostar" livery on the day, the other being No. 375308. It is seen here within the maintenance depot upon one of five elevated tracks. © David Glasspool

29th August 2015

Bogie repair in action: all four vehicles of "Electrostar" No. 375604 were aloft in the depot, the unit being supported by a total of sixteen jacks, eight either side. © David Glasspool