Laurel and Hardy only re-opened railway

IT was good to see in last week’s edition your feature on Dungeness, particularly the mention of The Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway.

Publicity for this magnificent line is always welcome.

For the record, however, the line was extended to Dungeness in 1928 and the whole line was taken over by the military during World War Two.

The war years took their toll, the War Department even created the only miniature armoured train in the world.

The line was also used extensively during the building of PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) which fuelled the Allied invasion force.

As peace-time returned, the RH&DR were keen to re-open - the line from Hythe to New Romney in 1946 and the Dungeness section following a year later on March 21 1947, with Laurel and Hardy performing the re-opening ceremony.

They did not open the original line in 1927 as your article said.

A short newsreel showing Laurel and Hardy re-opening the Dungeness section can be seen on the Pathe website, where you can also see footage of the armoured train.

Simon Parsons

Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway Association Heritage Group

New Winchelsea Road, Rye