Ways to spend a Saturday…Queenborough Wharf


Today, while most normal people head to the pub to watch the Rugby, or headed to the supermarket to get irritated with OAP’s blocking the aisles, we decided our time could be much better spent with a trip to the Isle of Sheppey to check out the leftovers of one of Kent’s last industrial systems – the branch that used to run from Queenborough station to Queenborough Wharf.

This line closed and was lifted exceptionally recently, and today we were questioning why on earth we hadn’t been there while it was open, but I think it must have closed almost exactly as we found an interest, well thats what we call it, others who know us may describe it more as an obsession, or an illness, in industrial railways…

Anyway, for a few photos of how it looked when open I suggest a quick search on Flickr for Queenborough Wharf.

I think its pretty safe to say that they did a very thorough job of lifting the line upon its closure but there are still plenty of interesting railway related bits around to remind you the iron road ran this way, along with some wonderful industrial and maritime decay as you head down towards the wharf, witness the following photos:


The now disconnected pipeline sharing the pontoon sort of structure heading out over the water was once connected on the landward side by way of a pipe bridge over the track – quite an interesting feature and readily visible in the Flickr photos.

At what was once the dock entrance, there is this wonderfully workman like brick structure, flat roofed and seemingly once glazed quite extensively – from the open spaces underneath we wonder if this used to be some sort of signal/control cabin for the complex but this definitely wasn’t clear:


Heading out the complex, the line passed these gates which now sum up the run down nature of the site:


Before heading off back to Queenborough, running alongside the river, with views across to Queenborough and Grain. All the while there are all sorts of interesting metal and wooden assemblies to remind you there used to be a railway here.


Interestingly at one point this Buoy had been blown ashore and ended up on the trackbed – I wonder if this used to be a regular occurance in the days the line was open, given how open and low lying the whole line is…


So there we go, much more exciting than a Rugby match, and a prototype that would be very modellable, we decided a shelf style layout set nice and high on the wall around the layout room would be ideal for it, with the river in the foreground and the hill to the rear, allowing you to unwind after a day at work by dispatching a load of steel from Queenborough Rolling Mill to the wharf and return the previous days empties.

Happy modelling folks!



3 thoughts on “Ways to spend a Saturday…Queenborough Wharf

  1. Always a bit of a lost cause, this line. Opened in 1908 to serve a coal washer at the pier (coal was brought in by sea, processed to upgrade it and then distributed by rail). The washer plant caught fire (spontaneous combustion) in 1910, but the wharf continued in use for unloading and screening coal until the early 1960s. After that it was used by scrap businesses for breaking up ships and railway rolling stock. The railway was upgraded in 1979 so that it could be used to handle steel products from the Queenborough rolling mill.

    1. James Davis

      Thank you for sharing this – lots of inspirational photos there. Love the desolation.

      Why is it that the railway infrastructure is removed, but all the other stuff – pipes, gantries etc is left behind?

  2. Pingback: Queenborough | sed30's Blog

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