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Chatham Main Line facts for kids

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Chatham main line
Status Operational
Owner Network Rail
Locale Greater London
South East England
Termini London Victoria
Dover Priory
Type Commuter rail
System National Rail
Operator(s) Southeastern
Rolling stock Class 375 "Electrostar"
Class 395 "Javelin"
Class 465 "Networker"
Class 466 "Networker"
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC third rail
Operating speed 145 km/h (90 mph)

The Chatham Main Line is a railway line in England linking London Victoria to Dover Priory / Ramsgate, Via Medway (and Chatham).


Most train services on the Line are run by Southeastern.

While travelling between Bromley South and London Victoria, the trains can either travel on the Main Line, through Beckenham Junction, Herne Hill and Brixton, or can go via the Catford Loop Line, travelling through Catford and Peckham Rye, and then just past Brixton it either picks up the Southeastern line all the way, or can follow the Southern (Atlantic) Line through Clapham High Street before crossing back over to the Southeastern Line to London Victoria. Some services travelling via Catford now stop at Denmark Hill.

As of 13 December 2015, the off-peak timetable consists of two trains per hour from Victoria, calling at Bromley South, Longfield, Meopham, Rochester, Chatham, and Rainham.

  • One service will call at Newington, Sittingbourne, Teynham and Faversham, then all stations to Dover Priory via Canterbury East.
  • The other train service will only call at Sittingbourne and Faversham then all stations to Margate and Ramsgate.

There is an hourly service from Victoria calling at Denmark Hill (via the Catford Loop), Bromley South, St Mary Cray then all stations to Gillingham. It then becomes a semi-fast service, calling at Rainham, Sittingbourne, Faversham, Canterbury East, terminating at Dover Priory.

A High Speed Service consists of two trains per hour from St Pancras International to Faversham via Gravesend and Chatham.

  • One service terminates at Faversham before travelling back to St Pancras International via Chatham and Gravesend.
  • The other service continues coastbound as a semi-fast service calling at Whitstable, Herne Bay, Birchington, Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. It then carries on, stopping at Sandwich, Deal, Walmer, Martin Mill, Dover Priory, Folkestone Central, Folkestone West and Ashford International, before picking up the High Speed Line to Ebbsfleet International, Stratford International and arriving back at St Pancras International.

A service operates in the opposite direction. There is one other High Speed Service that runs on a small part of the line, starting from Margate and calling at Broadstairs and Ramsgate before heading to Canterbury West, and Ashford International, then picking up the High Speed Line and calling at the remaining stations to St Pancras International.

Altered services because of emergency repairs

In December 2015, engineers carried out a survey of the railway line running between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central and discovered that a section of sea wall carrying the line had eroded away, and suspended the service. A replacement bus service operated between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central. The High Speed services via Chatham terminated at Ramsgate, with a shuttle bus service running between Ramsgate and Dover Priory via Sandwich. From Ashford International, the High Speed service terminated at Folkestone Central. After just over 8 months, this section of line reopened on 5 September 2016 and normal services have resumed.

Trains used

The following trains are operated on the line: Class 395 "Javelin", Class 375 "Electrostar", Class 465 "Networker" and Class 466 "Networker".

Class Image Type Cars per set Top speed Number Operator Notes Built
mph km/h
Class 395 Javelin 395014 at Faversham (15029873452).jpg EMU 6 140 (HS1) 100 (Mainline) 225 (HS1) 160 (Mainline) 29 Southeastern Peak time high speed services between Faversham and St.Pancras International 2007–2009
Class 375 375609 at London Victoria.jpg 3 or 4 100 160 140 1999–2005
Class 465 / 466 466024 approaches Rochester.JPG EMU 4 (465)

2 (466)

75 120 145 (465)

43 (466)



Related pages

  • South Eastern Main Line

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