Tramway could become walkway


Some months ago we took a step back in time and looked at the old Camber tramway – or what remains of it. The route, technically a light railway, was designed by Colonel Stephens, an engineer who had designed a number of light railway projects around the country. Some of these are still in working order, although these days mainly operated as heritage lines. The Kent and East Sussex Railway, running from Tenterden, is one of these.

The Colonel Stephens Society aims to keep the work of this great engineer and the age of steam alive, if not always physically, then at least with some mark of their previous existence. They have encouraged and assisted in the formation of local groups interested in many of the lines and recently we have received the following communication from the Society regarding the Camber line.

The old lines head off towards Golf Club Station. A potential scenic footpath or cycle way

“We are trying to find people from Rye who are interested in setting up a group to promote The Rye & Camber Tramway as part of Rye’s history.

“The Colonel Stephens Society works to promote all the former lines that he was involved in, some are working heritage lines such as The Kent & East Sussex Railway and The East Kent Railway, most of his other lines have groups and have commemorative plaques or information boards along section of the former railway line, many of which have been formed into walkway and cycle paths also these days known as Greenway Projects.

“This could be an aim of local enthusiasts and our society would help with this and try and attract more people to the group.

“Sadly the Rye & Camber Tramway is one of a few that do not have such a group and we are wondering if you could put an appeal in your paper to encourage anyone who might be interested if so please pass them my details and ask them to contact me.”

If any of our readers are interested in this, please get in contact with Dana Wiffen, Colonel Stephens Society press officer at

It would not be possible to reinstate the tramway itself, for the reasons given in our previous article, but the idea of a recognised walkway or cycle path through to Camber Sands – possibly the western (and least crowded) end, is an interesting one and could even possibly help to alleviate some of the traffic problems in Camber on busy summer weekends.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , John Minter .

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