North Kent line

The first railway to operate out of London was the London and Greenwich Railway, of which the first section from Spa Road to Deptford was opened on 8 February 1836. The line was rapidly extended to Greenwich but the Astronomer Royal refused to sanction an extension of the line on the grounds that the railway would upset the instruments in the Royal Observatory. The original North Kent route, which opened on 30 July 1849, therefore ran via Lewisham to Woolwich.

 

The stations on the Bexleyheath line which are in the Bexley Borough are:

 

Abbey Wood - opened 1849, rebuilt 1891 and 1989. Another rebuild for Crossrail is planned for 2018. William Morris was known to travel in a cart from Abbey Wood to the Red House.

 

Belvedere - opened 1859; bombed and destroyed 1941, rebuilt 1968 and 2000

 

Erith - opened 1849. The town’s population increased rapidly as local landowners began to use their property for suburban development. Substantial villas were built for those City workers who could afford to travel by train every day.

 

Slades Green (later Slade Green) - opened 1900, rebuilt 1968. In 1900 an engine shed and depot was built, converted to an electric depot from 1926. Houses were built for railway workers and their families who came to live in the district.

 

Sources:

A History of Erith part 3: 1837-1894, by John A. Prichard (Bexley London Borough, 1978)

Slade Green and the Crayford Marshes, by E. O. Thomas (Bexley Council, 2001)

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