Chattenden and Upnor

Gauge: 1ft 6in (460 mm), 2ft 6in (760mm)


Collection Objects

The first line between Chattenden and Upnor was standard gauge and was constructed in about 1870 to serve an Army camp at Chattenden. In 1872 its trackbed was used to lay a 1ft 6 in gauge railway for use as a training line by the Royal Engineers based in the Barracks. Between 1875 and 1878 magazines were built at Chattenden by convict labour brought in from Chatham by the railway.

In 1891 the Admiralty took over from the Army full responsibility for supplying armaments to the Fleet and consequently Upnor Depot, theTudor fort, and its associated depot on the shore of the River Medway were transferred from the War Office to the Admiralty, followed by Chattenden Barracks and the railway in 1904. By that time an extensive new armaments depot had been built at Lodge Hill and the railway line had been re-gauged to 2ft 6in. The Admiralty took over the railway system in 1906 and the RE Railway School moved to Longmoor in Hampshire.

The line was officially titled in 1906 “The Lodge Hill and Upnor Railway” and it was used for the carriage of munitions discharged from warships entering Chatham Naval Dockyard for repair or refit. The railway took the ammunition inland from Upnor Pier to magazines at Lodge Hill. There was also a timetabled service for naval staff taking in Chattenden Barracks, the railway workshops, engine sheds and stores. The line closed completely in 1961.

A wide range of rolling stock types was hauled by fourteen different steam locomotives and later diesels. Battery electric locomotives were used for shunting ammunition wagons on the sidings.


1ft 6in gauge 1873-1885

  • Burgoyne Manning, Wardle & Co. No. 448 of 1873; 0-4-0 saddle tank. Scrapped or sold

2ft 6in gauge

  • Sulphur Yorkshire Engine Co. No. 405 of 1885; 0-4-2 tank. Scrapped or sold by 1931
  • Carbon Yorkshire Engine Co. No. 404 of 1886; 0-4-2 tank. Scrapped or sold by 1931
  • Cheshire W G Bagnall No. 1260 of 1890; 0-4-2 tank.
  • Lancashire Yorkshire Engine Co. No. 462 of 1891; 0-4-4 tank.
  • Cumberland Lowca Engine Co. No. 220 of 1893; 0-4-2 tank. Scrapped 1904
  • Stafford (Eardley Wilmot) W G Bagnall No. 1513 of 1897; 0-6-0 tank.
  • Bagnall W G Bagnall No. 1514 of 1897; 0-6-0 saddle tank.
  • Kitchener Yorkshire Engine Co. No. 711 of 1902; 0-6-2 tank.
  • Yorkshire John Fowler & Co. No. 5350 of 19??; 0-4-4 tank.
  • Pioneer Yorkshire Engine Co. No. 757 of 1904; 2-6-2 pannier tank.
  • Ascension Avonside Engine Co. No. 1480 of 1904; 0-4-2 tank.
  • 40 Fisher Dick Kerr & Co. No. 13996 of 1915; 0-6-2 tank. Scrapped 1954
  • 1 Chevallier Manning, Wardle & Co. No. 1877 of 1915; 0-6-2 tank. Sold to Bowaters
  • 49 Burnett Hall Avonside Engine Co. No. 2070 of 1933; 0-6-2 tank.
  • 42 Norbury Peckett & Sons No. 1868 of 1934; 0-4-2 tank. Scrapped 1955
  • Hornsby & Co. No. 6234 of 1903; 6wheel + 6wheel petrol.
  • Eardley Wilmot McEwen Pratt & Co. of 1911; 4wheel petrol.
  • Yard No.44 Hibberd & Co. (Planet) No. 3687 of 1954; 4wheel petrol.
  • Yard No. 85 Baguley Drewry No. 2263 of 1949; 0-6-0 diesel. Survives (on the Welshpool and Llanfair Railway)
  • Yard No. 92 Hunslet Engine Co. No. 3301 of 1946; 0-6-0 diesel.

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