By Geoff Courtney
REVIVALISTS planning to restore a link between two heritage lines are celebrating a major step forward in their project, following a local council decision to grant approval for the £4½ million scheme and the decision of Highways England to agree in principle to the installation of a level crossing over a major A-road.
The privately-funded project will see the Rother Valley Railway link up with the Kent & East Sussex Railway, resulting in a 14 mile heritage steam line over former trackbed between the RVR’s Robertsbridge base and the KESR at Tenterden.
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The RVR’s half-mile line currently ends at Northbridge Street and the KESR’s 11½-mile line at Junction Road, leaving a gap of two miles between them. The decision of Rother District Council’s planning committee to unanimously approve the application on March 16 means that gap will be plugged, possibly by as early as 2020.
RVR chairman Gardner Crawley told Heritage Railway that the project was being funded by the railway through private benefactors without the use of public funds, and would benefit the local economy by more than £2 million per year.
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