Margate and Ramsgate feature in next episode of The Architecture The Railways Built

The Architecture The Railways Built - Tim Dunn outside Ramsgate Station

Margate and Ramsgate railway stations will feature in the next episode of The Architecture The Railways Built, on the Yesterday channel.

Rail historian Tim Dunn heads to Thanet to find out how the railways changed the fortunes of the towns.

When trains pulled in they brought day-trippers in their droves. Tim finds out how important the architecture of the towns’ stations were in drawing in the holidaymakers.

He also visits Ramsgate’s maintenance depot to see how the railways are still affecting the local economy today.

Tim talks about the predecessor stations which boosted tourism with the Margate Sands stops and Ramsgate Harbour line (actually running where Ramsgate Tunnels is today) from the 1840s and then the new buildings designed by Edwin Maxwell Fry and erected in 1926 as well as the impact of the modern day Hi-speed service on regeneration.

The Architecture The Railways Built can be seen on Monday,November 8 at 8pm on Yesterday channel (Catch-up on UKTV Play)


  1. And, instead of investing in the preservation and improvement of our lovely station, TDC has thrown a few million into the pot to build an unnecessary and unwanted Parkway station. By diverting custom from Ramsgate (and Broadstairs and Margate) they will inflict yet more damage on the heritage assets that should be one of the guarantees of our town’s prosperous future.

    • People who live in these three towns aren’t going to want to trek off to the new station, surely. It’s not as if they’d save any precious minutes if they went there.

    • £2m funding by TDC out of a total cost of £34m. Who says it is unwanted? Parking at Ramsgate station is not that easy and this new station may well attract new passengers from Sandwich too.

        • Indeed Peter. However, again there are not many parking spaces there. Parkway station will bring increased journey opportunities to Sandwich residents. For example, Sandwich to St Pancras is presently 104 minutes, Parkway to St Pancras is 69 minutes (plus a 15 min drive) – saving 20 minutes on the overall journey.

          • Think your driving times could be out.
            15 minutes from sandwich ? Takes me 15 mintues of queuing to turn right at sevenscore roundabout certain times of day when coming from sandwich.
            Now all the sandwich traffic to the new station will be queuing at sevenscore and than having to do a full 360 around lord of the manor roundabout. Which is also busy at certain times of day. I dont think these roundabouts are a suitable way of getting into this new white elephant

      • Not everyone gets to the station by car. Ramsgate station is the terminus for routes heading along the north Kent coast to Victoria. So if you wanted to travel that way, you would need to get to Ramsgate, or board a train at Thanet Parkway and change.
        Maybe, as climate change begins to have even greater impact, we should focus less on motor cars and the damage they do both to the environment and society.

        • Until recently it was possible to get direct trains from (say) Birchington to towns beyond Ramsgate (Deal, Dover, Folkestone, etc), but for some strange reason this is no longer the case.

          • It still is possible, Peter. There is a service from Faversham to Charing Cross via all the Thanet towns and then reversing at Minster to go via Dover.

        • Of course we should focus less on car travel. But let’s look at the bigger picture. Some people in (south)Thanet and Sandwich may decide to drive directly to London if they felt that parking at existing stations was too difficult. Parkway encourages a much shorter car journey and an eco friendly rail trip to London.

          • I would imagine that parking at or near Thanet’s stations is a sinch compared with parking anywhere in London. Plus the C charge.
            Why anyone would want to drive to London, hunched over the steering wheel, cursing the bloke in front for doing 65 in the middle lane, heading for the M25 orbital carpark, when you could be whooshing along at 120 MPH in carefree abandon beats me

          • Thing is because more people will have to drive to the new station. It will mean the road from lord of the manor roundabout to sevenscore roundabout is going to get very busy.
            Because coming out or going into the new station is a left hand turn only. So now more people will be using those roundabouts to come back on themselves.
            Coming from ramsgate, when leaving the station you have to go to sevenscore to come back. From minster/monkton way drive pass the station to lord of the manor than back on yourself to get in.

            So this new station will only add to traffic build up and local pollution. But with manston reopening ( lol ) there doesnt seem to be any worries about more pollution.

            Anyway back to the tv show. It’s a good program.

  2. TDC aren’t funding it – Thanet’s council tax payers are. Moreover, a large chunk of money is being met by KCC, or rather Kent’s tax payers as a whole!

  3. The train tickets to Margate from London are expensive compared to the cost of train tickets to the far reaches of Suffolk from London. I often travel by train to Margate but the train does not appear to be cleaned that thoroughly.
    Ramsgate and Margate train stations look pretty grand but despite their refurbishment it is a shame the Margate station building in particular is not maintained that well, as the parquet flooring needs resealing and polishing again! After all the building is in effect a community asset and should be maintained. It’s great that these stations will feature in this television programme though.

  4. Yes, let’s look at the big picture. Maxwell Fry and J.R.Scott designed a station that was ahead of its time, built in the then popular Neo-Georgian style, that blends in with the local environment.
    Ramsgate has 4 platforms with 2 lifts each capable of taking 10 persons. No, it is not easy to park there, though there is space to build a a multi -storey on site if necessary. It was never designed for the car, it is a transport hub. You can reach it by public transport, taxi, private car, cycling or walking. It is very green in that context.
    The most glorious part of the building at Ramsgate is the concourse, which owes its origins to grand central station/terminal in New York, with its large windows, vaulted ceiling, and wonderful art-deco lights.
    It was designed by two architects at the top of the game. Fry went on to partner up with Walter Gropius, and Scott, designed some wonderful art-deco stations on the Southern Railway system.
    Thanet Parkway, looks like it has been designed by KCC Highways (in other words so bad, it would fit well in Ceausescu’s Romania). It dominates the skyline, with ugly lift towers (2 for 2 platforms).It is heavily car orientated, using other forms of transport is difficult. It will create congestion along Hengist way, rather than solve it. It adds to carbon use not reduce it, and the argument that not building it would encourage drivers to drive to London is not sustained by any robust data.
    It is something dreamt up in Maidstone by a KCC Highways official and taken up by politicians with even less understanding of climate change and public transport than him (and it will be a him, no woman would design such a brutal building, except perhaps Alison Smithson). It is the result of back door lobbying, principally by the Discovery park.
    In order to justify its bloated budget, all sorts of unsustainable arguments over car parking, dare I say the word Manston, and shorter journey times to London, have been trotted out as they been have here.
    One damning piece of evidence is the fact that Thanet District Council contributed £2m, when they cannot even sweep streets, maintain their estate, or or improve anything unless it has Margate written all over it.
    If you want to spot a wrong ‘un, see if TDC are putting money into it.

    • What an excellent analysis.
      It occurred to me, too, that although there is no land on which to build car parks (if you must) then there’s ample scope for a multi-storey over the existing carriage sheds (for example). It would cost far less than the £30M for Thanet Parkway.

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