|Classification||DfT category E|
|25 September 1844||Opened (Terminus)|
|18 June 1856||Through station opened|
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road
Maidstone West railway station is one of three railway stations which serve the town of Maidstone, the county town of Kent, England. It is on the Medway Valley Line, 42 miles 36 chains (68.3 km) from London Charing Cross via Strood and situated between Maidstone Barracks and East Farleigh. The station and all trains that call are operated by Southeastern.
Due largely to opposition from the town's merchants, and the fear expressed by the then Mayor that "Maidstone will be ruined as a commercial town", the town was bypassed when the South Eastern Main Line opened by the South Eastern Railway (SER) in 1842. The line ran approximately eight miles to the south, with the nearest station being at Maidstone Road (later renamed Paddock Wood). On 25 September 1844, a branch line was opened from Paddock Wood to Maidstone West. This was extended further up the Medway Valley to the North Kent Line at Strood on 18 June 1856. The main station building is believed to date from this time.
Maidstone West has a signal box -- located at the southern end of the station -- which is used as the point at which the mileage measurements and the "Up" and "Down" directions to London change. South of the signal box, the distance from London is measured via Paddock Wood, and the Up (towards London) direction is southbound. From the signal box northwards, however, mileages are measured via Strood and the northbound line is the Up direction. On 3 August 1944, the signal box was severely damaged when a doodlebug landed nearby. Seven people were killed, as well as two dray horses belonging to Maidstone brewers Fremlins. The signalbox was repaired and returned to service.
Just south of Maidstone West was a station at Tovil ( ). Passenger services ceased on 15 March 1943. A short line ran on a bridge across the River Medway to a goods station at Tovil Goods ( ) until 3 October 1977, from which point the branch line closed completely.
The typical off-peak service from the station is:
During peak hours, two Southeastern high speed services run to St Pancras International in the morning, with one in the morning and two in the evening returning to Maidstone West. These services only call at Snodland between Strood and Maidstone West, with the exception of the morning Maidstone-bound and evening London-bound services which do not call at Snodland. There is also a Strood - Maidstone West shuttle during the late afternoon and evening (1 return journey during the morning).
|Preceding station||National Rail||Following station|
Medway Valley Line
High Speed 1
(limited peak services)
|Terminus||Headcorn & Maidstone
Junction Light Railway