FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The Golden Arrow: Derby to Folkestone Harbour

Posted in England, Folkestone by folkestonejack on April 5, 2008

It is not quite a year since the last steam hauled railtour to Folkestone Harbour and now there are to be two within a week of each other. After the second railtour the curtain is expected to close on this spectacle, so I headed back to Folkestone knowing that this was an experience to be savoured.

My first stop was at the Skew Arches, a railway bridge that crosses the Dover Road at a diagonal angle. It’s one of those places that has lodged itself firmly into memory, being just a stone’s throw from my grandparent’s terraced house in Folly Road. I have to say that it looks perfect with an un-rebuilt Battle of Britain class steam locomotive passing. It is hard to imagine that this must have been a routine sight at this spot in the late 1940s/1950s.

Battle of Britain class locomotive 34067 'Tangmere' crosses the Skew Arches on the way to Folkestone East

Battle of Britain class locomotive 34067 ‘Tangmere’ crosses the Skew Arches on the way to Folkestone East

The railtour reversed at Folkestone East and class 67 diesel 67024 brought the train into Folkestone Harbour, ready for Tangmere to make a run up the 1 in 30 gradient. I headed over to a spot on the far side of the station to take in the view across the outer harbour as Tangmere crossed the viaduct. The sight never fails to impress whichever angle you see it from.

Tangmere crosses Folkestone Harbour

Tangmere crosses Folkestone Harbour

After the day’s entertainment finished I headed back to Folkestone Central, sure that I would be back in seven days for the repeat performance!

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