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The footbridge over Tonbridge West Yard also crosses the Tonbridge to Redhill line, from the bridge you can see Tonbridge Station and also the main line towards the capital. The lines are a busy commuter route plus a minor freight line. The yard it self has seen better day and is now just used mainly for engineering trains. The site is in the heart of West Kent and see a various amount of traffic.
Railway type and traffic
Most of the traffic in this area uses the line that curves to the north from the station towards London, but there is a half hourly service in both direction on the Redhill line, this includes Southern 377 covering the Tunbridge Wells to Horsham route and SET 375 and 508 covering the Tunbridge Wells to London Bridge services. Southern and SWT use the Redhill line to convey EMUs to Chart Leacon for servicing and 455s, Gat Ex and also the 3 CIGs have been seen.
OTP equipment is also seen on route to Ashford Depot. The yard itself has the usual suspects, GBRF owned 73207 has sat on the loco spur for a number of months now, also NR snowploughs and GLVs (De-icers) are based in the yard along with NR 73212 + 73213. GBRF also uses the yard to hold locos and this includes 66/7s and EDs. DB Schenker also use the yard and it is possible to see 66s, 59s, 60s and 67s.
But a word of warning the yard can be completely empty at time with only the usual suspects on view and other times it can be jam packed, when there is engineering work near by the yard is used to run round, so trains can access Hoo junction via the Medway Valley Line.. the bridge also crosses Jubilee Sidings where SET store 375s, 465s and 508s, and some times the VSOE hauled by DB Schenker 67s may stop over.
The bridge is open to the elements and in the winter the wind can whip across the bridge. To the South is a housing estate and to the North is a unmade road area where you can park. It is a public footpath and is used by school children so it can be busy at the end of the school days.
The easiest way is from the A21, take the turning for the A26 (Tonbridge South) follow the signs for Tonbridge, coming down the A26 Quarry Hill you come to a round-a-bout, go straight over (2nd exit), at the next round-a-bout go straight on (1st Exit) you will pass Tonbridge Station on your left.
At the next round-a-bout go straight over and then take the immediate left into Avebury Avenue. Follow this road to the end and turn right into Barden Road, follow this to the end and at the T-junction turn right into Nelson Avenue, follow this to the end and turn left going across the bridge, which cross the main London line. after the bridge turn left into Pembroke Road, at the bottom turn Left into Clare Avenue. Go to the end and the road turns into a dirt track, a short distance is the area where you can park.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location Tonbridge West Yard map co-ordinates
Plenty of room just follow above route. Just watch the side roads as there are parking permits between certain times.
The location is a 10 minute walk from the station, and the town's High Street. Follow direction from the station by car except when you get to the end of Barden Road walk across Nelson Avenue to the footpath which leads across the main line for London.Click here to set up your location for directions to this location
There is a local store on Bardon Road, in the town there is a Sainsburys and other shops generally found in a town.
There is a Travel Inn
about 10 minutes walk from the station and town centre.
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Tonbridge West Yard
Tonbridge West Yard general view map
Tonbridge West Yard close up map
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Tonbridge West Yard
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The line is East - West almost so depending on the time of day the sun may cause a problem. The Redhill Line is a tight angle to take pictures and you tend to shoot into the light from the North side of the line due to the vegetation. The bridge is not wide so if you use a tripod just beware of groups of people crossing the bridge.
General views - All photographs © Steve Hatcher unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking east
Fig 2 - Looking west
Fig 3 - Looking west
Fig 4 - Looking east
Fig 5 - Looking east
Fig 6 - Looking west
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