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Family-friendly Summer offers & events at Kent & East Sussex Railway


22nd July 2022

Kent & East Sussex Railway joins ‘LOVE YOUR RAILWAY' campaign 

and launches family-friendly Summer offers and events programme

The Kent & East Sussex Railway is joining forces with other heritage railways in a six-week summer campaign to raise awareness of their importance as a tourism destination, educating and telling the story of Britain's railways, whilst also providing local jobs and volunteer community engagement.

Following success in 2021, the second annual ‘Love Your Railway' campaign brings together organisations from as far afield as Scotland, Snowdonia, Leighton Buzzard and the Lake District in a nationwide campaign which shines a spotlight on heritage railway organisations, encouraging visitors to support them over the crucial summer period.

‘Love Your Railway' runs over the summer holidays from 25thJuly to 4thSeptember, with weekly themes to help highlight what the railways offer to families and schools, in community partnerships and on topics such as conservation and volunteering.

Throughout the event, the K&ESR will also be encouraging visitors and supporters to get involved and share photos and memories of their visits on social media using #LoveYourRailway.

Family-friendly Summer offers and events

K&ESR has always been a winning destination for family days out, whatever the weather, so the good news is that the poplar‘Kids For A Quid' ticket offerwill be running throughout the month of August. Selected services will also start earlier in the day during August, so that visitors will have longer to enjoy their Summer adventures. Over the August Bank holiday, there will be aTeddy Bears Picnicat Tenterden station, with storytelling sessions and free train rides for all children who come along with their teddy. More details of these and other offers will be available shortly on thewebsite.

 Memorable summer adventures on K&ESR

Part of the community

The K&ESR has many partnerships with the local community, schools and businesses. Having last year hosted a community art exhibition in conjunction with the Tenterden Schools Trust, the station will now be the permanent home of a beautiful intergenerational wall mosaic celebrating the town's iconic features, such as the railway, jointly created by local school children and older residents. Evacuation Days and Victorian Experience events are well-established and popular educational history initiatives, not forgettingthe award-winning Railway Museum telling the story of Colonel Stephens (the entrepreneur who built and operated the railway) through interactive displays.

For a really immersive railway experience this Summer why not book a place on aJunior Engineering Experience(9thand 10thAugust): an amazing first-hand opportunity for youngsters to learnmore about the workings of the railway.Suitable for children aged 6-12 years, accompanied by an adult, they are led by the author of the Peters Railway books, Chris Vine, sharing his passion for all things engineering. Please see the website to book.

 K&ESR also regularly partners with local businesses for special events. For example: The Old Dairy Brewery for its Real Ale Trains and a variety of local vineyards for Sparkling Afternoon Teas.

Conservation in action

A major aspect of the K&ESR's operations is the important conservation and vital maintenance work that is carried out by its volunteers. To underline the importance of such work, during the month ofAugust one of the K&ESR's historic Terrier locomotives, newly restored ‘Poplar' (as seen recently on TV) is scheduled to pull selected services. This is part of the 150thbirthday celebrations for these iconic engines which, in their heyday, would have hauled commuter trains into London.

Announcing the K&ESR's involvement with LOVE YOUR RAILWAY 2022, Simon Marsh, Chairman of the K&ESR said:"We are delighted to be involved with this year's Love Your Railway campaign to draw attention to the important role our heritage railways play in education, by keeping our industrial history alive, and in the local economy through tourism.

"Like so many of our sister railways, we rely heavily on volunteers and, as all our visitors continue to attest, it is their enthusiasm and dedication which helps to make our railway such a welcoming and enjoyable place to visit."


For press enquiriesplease contact:-

Alison Miles, Acting Press Officer  /  07900 691116

Tenterden Town Station, Station Road, Tenterden, Kent TN30 6HE

For further information on the national Love Your Railway campaign, please contactthe NYMR press call 0121 817 3771

Notes to Editors:-

Heritagerailways around the UK carry over 13 million passengers each year over 560 miles of railway line and contribute £400 million in economic impact. Some 22,000 volunteers and over 4,000 paid employees keep the UK's heritage railways on track, highlighting the significant role railways played through the industrial revolution. An up-to-date list of participating railways can be found at:

The Kent & East Sussex Railwayruns from Tenterden to Bodiam, through 10 miles of the beautiful Rother Valley.It receives stunning TripAdvisor reviews and in normal years attracts more than 80,000 visitors. The railway is mainly staffed by volunteers and is looking forward to another successful season, now covid restrictions have eased. The Kent & East Sussex Railway is operated by the Kent & East Sussex Railway Co Ltd, a charitable company, limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. Registered charity No. 262481. The railway was built by Holman F Stephens and was the first light railway opened in Britain under the Light Railways Act of 1896. Today it is one of Britain's most loved and original heritage railways.