Screenshot Dark Railway 51.10799-0.97044 07-03-13
Manston Fore
  • Location: Manston Fore, Kent
  • Operator: Dark Railway
  • Constructed: 1893
  • Station Code: MF
  • Platforms: 2
  • Status: Open

Manston Fore railway station is an intemediate station on the Dark Railway. It serves the village of the same name, which has grown on both sides of the cutting that the station sits in.


The station was originally built in 1893, and was named  "Merecombe Moor" because of it's remote location. This was the temporary terminus of the railway for five months, whilst construction continued into the city of Merecombe itself.

In 1897, a public meeting was held to decide on wether to change the name of the station, and consequently, the village that had grown around it. After a three hour discussion with thevillagers, it was decided that this suburb of Merecombe would from that point be known as "Manston Fore".

Manston Fore became a busy junction once the goods branch had been built. Both freight and passenger services traverse that line, therefore, the signalman here is very busy indeed. Several incidents have occurred at this location, including breakdowns, collisions and even, once, a service simply sliding right past the station, brake blocks screaming, during a period of icy weather in 1953!

The station is famous for two reasons. Firstly, it is located at the summit of the formidable "Upway Bank", hence, this is where northbound services can wind down for the short hop into Merecombe, or else prepare themselves for the descent down the goods branch. Southbound services can look forward to a long coast down the bank.

Secondly, this is the junction for the Merecombe Goods Branch, hence, this can become a busy location. Unfortunately, due to space constraints within the cutting, it is impractical to add another freight line to avoid disruption. Delays are often caused by last minute freight movements or late running services due to both Upway Bank and the Gasworks Tunnel Incline.

Layout and FacilitiesEdit

Screenshot Dark Railway 51.10890-0.97109 16-09-21

Manston Fore Junction. The left hand tracks lead to Merecombe Station, whilst the lines diverging to the right lead to the Gasworks and Industrial Estate. Manston Fore Station is behind the photographer's vantage point.

Manston Fore Station has two platforms, arranged as one long bay platform. The ticket office is located above the platforms on the road bridge (which provides access to the station itself). A small brick waiting room is located underneath this bridge on the platforms.

There are two sidings at Manston Fore: one for the up line and one for the down line. These are arranged at each end of the platforms, usually used to pick up or set down coal wagons for use in the station's fireplace.

To the west of the station was the junction for the Merecombe Goods Branch, which was used almost exclusively for freight traffic travelling to and from the Industrial Estate until the line's closure in 1968. Just to the east of the station is the summit of Upway Bank, the highest point on the railway.

Accidents and IncidentsEdit

  • July 1901 saw ths area's first accident, when a late running passenger train collided with a goods train which had mistakenly been allowed onto the mainline from the freight line. Seventeen people were injured, but thankfully, nobody was killed on this occaision.
  • In April 1912, two passenger trains (one, a shuttle from the Industrial Estate, and the other a semi-fast to Merecombe) collided head on near the junction, causing the death of twenty seven people, including the fireman of the shuttle service. The signalman was found at fault and imprisoned, but was later released, three years later, due to public pressure and campaigning, as the accident had happened right at the end of an unprecidented 17 hour shift for signalman Yelland at Manston Fore box. Josh Yelland was later murdered by a family member of one of the victims of the crash.
  • In April 1919, a carriage derailed as the service left the station bound for Merecombe, due to a fault with a set of points. The coach was rerailed as quickly as possible, but resulted in 134 minites of delays.
  • In 1943, a goods train collided with a locomotive making light engine movements over the Goods Branch Junction. The crew of the engines managed to jump clear, but the guard of the goods train (which was leaving the goods branch for the station) was injured due to the sudden stop.
  • In December 1953, snow and ice caused a late running service to slide right past the station, which then blocked the Goods Branch Junction, causing excessive delay.


The Dark Railway SeriesEdit




  • Manston Fore is one of the least seen stations in the series.
  • Manston Fore is the only station on the DR that has had a name change, having originally been called "Merecombe Moor".
Locations on The Dark Railway
ColhapperGalen JunctionAxleyLake (closed)WalschurchUpwayManston ForeMerecombeSomaMerecombe Gasworks (closed)Merecombe Industrial Estate (closed)
Motive Power Depots
Colhapper ShedGalen Junction Shed (closed)Merecombe Shed
Points of Interest
Galen Junction Railway MuseumCaracus Smash LtdWalschurch ViaductUpway BankGasworks Tunnel Incline (closed)