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Written by Andrew Doyle - 20 Apr 2012
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Location notes
This bridge is in the town of Maidstone on the Medway Valley Line. This line runs between Tonbridge and Strood.
Railway type and traffic
Passenger - everyday, there is a good diet of Southeastern EMUs, with Classes 466, 465 and 375 all using this section of the line. However, Southeastern Class 395 (Highspeed Javelins) EMUs terminate at Maidstone West during the weektime peak,about a quarter of a mile east of the crossing, meaning this class does not ever reach this location.
Freight - (WEEKDAYS) There is a variety of freight which passes the location, the earliest of which is around 05:00 which runs to Allington Stone Terminal further down the line on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. This is usually class 59 or 66 opperated. Also running on these same days is a DB Schenker run stone train from Purley agregatte works to Cliffe. This is usualy between 10:00 and 11:00, as it can run both early and late. Traction for this is usually class 66. Both of these workings are heading east, the latter being particularly good for shots as the sun is in the best position at this time of day.
On a Monday, GBRf run a small convoy of class 73s and 66s from Hoo Junction to Tonbridge yard, heading west. This runs in the same timescale as the DB Schenker stone train.
Also on weekends are regular Ballast and Engineers trains running down the line between various possesions and Hoo Junction Yard. These can be worked by either DB Schenker of GBRf, and run at any time either on Saturday or Sunday.
The feel of the area can vary, one minute it being a peaceful atmosphere, and the next it being a not very peaceful one. My advice is if you were going to go any time on a weekday after 15:00 or on the weekend to go with someone as at times there are some not very nice people about.
The majority of the time the location is okay, but have your wits about you as what seems a pleasant atmosphere could quickly turn into one which is not!
Road directions
When coming into Maidstone, head towards Maidstone West. This is on the left on the one way system heading out on the Tonbridge Road. Go straight up past the station and continue in the left hand lane. Once you reach a junction, head straight ahead until you reach a left hand turn before a parade of shops. Turn Left down what is a single direction road. At the end of this, head left down, and at he pub, veer left, and then once you go round the corner, the foot crossing is at the bottom of a very steep hill.

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Tovil Crossing map co-ordinates
Bower Lane has a 2 hour waiting limit on parking, but there are not a lot of spaces.
Public transport
Get the train to Maidstone West, which is the closest station, and then either the Route 6,7 or 85 Busses run by Arriva to St Michaels Church, or a 10 minute walk from the station.

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There are some nearby shops near to the top of the very steep hill, however the area is not necessarily the safest around so be careful!
There are one or two Pubs and a SPAR shop not too far from the location. There are no public toilets so the closest place would be in the Pub.
There is the Grangemoor Hotel which is about 5 minutes away from the the location on St Micheals Road. 1 minute away from this is the main road into Maidstone (Tonbridge Road).
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Tovil Crossing

Googly map
Streetmap links
Tovil Crossing general view map
Tovil Crossing close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Tovil Crossing

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Photographic notes
The location is great if the sun is out. In the morning, the sun is behind you facing westward, so shots of trains coming from the Tonbridge direction at this time come out fantastic as the trains go round the 'S' curve bend. In the afternoon and evening, the location is good for trains heading towards Tonbridge away from Maidstone West. Best shots are obtained from the Bridge.

General views - All photographs © Andrew Doyle unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking west

Fig 1 - Looking west

Fig 2 - Looking east

Fig 2 - Looking east

Location Video

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