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Historic railway

Savour the bygone age of industrial working railways when our beautiful historic locomotives run through the ‘yard.

Historic Railway


At its peak, it is estimated that there were approximately 17 miles of standard gauge railway within the Dockyard. Today we have just under 1 mile of track remaining. The section (laid tramway style) starts just outside the Historic Dockyard (adjacent to No.7 Slip) and runs through the middle of our site to the southern end of Anchor Wharf.

Our historic railway is operated by a team of dedicated volunteers, who work tirelessly to restore the locomotives, wagons and cranes, and help keep a valuable piece of the Dockyard’s history alive.

Whether you’re a railway enthusiast, you just have a casual interest or you want to re-live childhood memories, our railway provides the perfect photo opportunity to get up close to our historic locomotives and chat to our knowledgeable volunteers.


The railway within The Historic Dockyard Chatham is unlike any other heritage railway operation elsewhere in the UK in terms of its operating characteristics and its organisational structure. There is no Club or Association to join, there are no membership fees to pay, and there are no commercial issues to manage.

The role of the railway volunteer is to operate and help maintain the railway and its equipment as directed by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust.

History of the Railway

With thanks to Neal Short, Sharon Lockyer, and Andy Veitch for researching and writing this page and for supplying photographs.