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Written by Jonathan Makepeace - 13 Aug 2007
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Location notes
This spot is the site of Beluncle halt which closed in 1961.
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
This is a freight only branch with services running Monday to Friday only, with very occasional weekend passenger excursions or Serco test trains. There is roughly one train per hour throughout the length of the line. Current workings include DB Schenker and GB Railfreight ballast from Foster Yeoman's terminal at Grain where an 08 shunter is normally resident; DB Schenker spoil workings to Grain; Freightliner workings to and from Thamesport and a intermodal service to Thamesport.
Link to Real Time Trains
RTT Link Grain Branch, Beluncle
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
On the roadside with no shelter.
Road directions
Take the A228 towards Grain and before crossing the Grain Branch turn right at the roundabout towards Kingsnorth Power Station (Roper's Lane). Take the first left at the T-junction and then first left again after Beluncle farm into Stoke Road.

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Grain Branch, Beluncle map co-ordinates
Parking
No off road parking.
Public transport
There is the Arriva 191 and 796 bus service to Grain via Hoo and High Halstow, roughly one bus per hour on weekdays.

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Amenities
The closest amenities are in Hoo about 2 km away.
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, Beluncle

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

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



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South East Gen
Photographic notes
The line runs from west to east so trains can be photographed at most times of the day usually from the south side of the line. However because of the vegetation most shots will be pretty much front end on.
The line is a challenge for photographers being largely flat (bring stepladders!), much line side vegetation and a proliferation of electricity pylons at some locations. Also for the majority of trains one is shooting into the light with biggest challenge being the evening Fastline Class 56 service to Thamesport which is only possible to photograph on the branch in midsummer.


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


Fig 1 - Looking east


Fig 2 - Looking west


Fig 2 - Looking west


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