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Written by Jonathan Makepeace - 13 Aug 2007
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Location notes
From Cliffe Ground Frame on the Grain branch there is a half a mile branch running north to the Brett Aggregates Ltd. terminal at Cliffe.
The single track branch line from Hoo Junction to Grain and Thamesport is on the Hoo Peninsula in North Kent. Hoo Junction is on the line between Gravesend and Strood.
The Hoo Peninsula is an area of great contrast: isolated marshland and mudflats, farms and orchards, power stations and a container port. For bird spotters there are several RSPB nature reserves. There are also connections with Charles Dickens, for example the church at Cooling was the inspiration for the opening scenes in Great Expectations.
Railway type and traffic
There are one or two DB Schenker trains to and from Cliffe each day normally hauled by Class 66s.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Grain Branch, Cliffe
This link should be close to the location, but may not be the actual location so please check the page. This link will take you to what is happening 'around now'. Dates and times can be changed at the top of the page.
Environment
Open marshland with very little cover.
This spot can only be reached by a public footpaths across muddy and often very wet fields usually containing livestock - Wellington boots are a necessity!
Road directions
From the A289 heading towards the Medway tunnel take the B2000 towards Cliffe. After about 1 km take the second left (Lower Rochester Road) towards Lower Higham. At the crossroads by the pub in Lower Higham turn right into Church Street and continue until the end of the road and park by the church in Church Street. The footpath continues from the end of the road across the field to the railway line. Then continue across the fields on the north side of the line heading east and then cross over the Cliffe branch on to the east side of the line and head north.

An alternative is to stay on the B2000 almost to Cliffe and after crossing the bridge over the Grain branch turn second left, then right, then left towards the Brett terminal. After parking you will then get access to the public footpath on the east side of the Cliffe branch by the level crossing at the Brett terminal.

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Grain Branch, Cliffe map co-ordinates
Parking
Church Street seems to be safe and quiet although the roads are narrow. Park by the letterbox by the church in Church Street.
It is a little difficult to park on the road into the Brett terminal at Cliffe due to the number of lorries.
Public transport
There is a half hourly service to Higham station and a two mile walk from there. Alternatively there is an hourly Arriva service 133 from Chatham to Cliffe.

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Amenities
Nothing at all the closest being Cliffe where there are public toilets or Higham.
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.
Grain Branch, Cliffe

Googly map
Streetmap links
Grain Branch, Cliffe general view map
Grain Branch, Cliffe close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Grain Branch, Cliffe



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Photographic notes
The line runs roughly from north to south and due to the vegetation the best shots are from the east side of the line and is ideal for photographing the mid morning departure from Cliffe. There is slightly less vegetation closer towards the Brett terminal.


General views - All photographs © Jonathan Makepeace unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking north


Fig 1 - Looking north


Fig 2 - Looking north


Fig 2 - Looking north


Fig 3 - Looking north


Fig 3 - Looking north

Shot close to Cliffe Ground Frame, at the start of the foot path up the line.

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