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Southern Belle Railtour: Ramsgate to London Bridge

Dusk was drawing in and the full moon had risen as the tour made for home along the coast from Faversham. The last light of a superb day was fading as the train pulled into Ramsgate at 19:43.

This was not the end of the trip, however. Following a refreshment break, the station buffet having very kindly opened up especially (thank you!) after some last minute persuasion, the tour train formed an additional 20:01 passenger service to London Bridge via Dover, Maidstone, Bromley South and the Mid-Kent line. The Cig, which had worked empty from Victoria to Ramsgate the previous Tuesday, was detached for collection by Southern. The Cep and Vep returned as a yet another additional service (a "Control Special" for those with the strength and ability to get home from Kent late at night) to Ramsgate via the Mid-Kent Line, Bromley South, Swanley, Otford, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge Ashford International and Canterbury West.

This is still not quite the end for the Veps and Cigs, but it is almost impossible to imagine 1698 running again. It went off lease the next day, only five months short of fifty years since the first Cep took to the rails.


one last round trip left Journey's end for the tour, but not for the stock as it still has to work a special service back to London Bridge. The Cep and Vep then have to return to Ramsgate, for the Cep for the final time.

photograph by Mike Cubberley
topping up the tanks The Cep has one last round trip left in service, for which its water tanks are being replenished.

photograph by R.M. Brumé
gosh that Scotchlite really works! Southeastern's Andy Piper and their final crew at Ramsgate. The Cig leads the formation back to London.

photograph by R.M. Brumé

London Bridge

The end of an era! We leap back to London to see the 1698 at London Bridge for the very last time. Indeed the very last time for any Cep in any London terminal. The end of an era!

photograph by Jon Piesing

Working Timetable: 1Z23 05.56 Weymouth to Ramsgate
Herne Bay
19/12 ˝
19/21 ˝

Working Timetable: 1Z75 20.01 Ramsgate to London Bridge
Buckland Jn
Dover Priory
Folkestone C
Saltwood Jn
Ashford Int
Maidstone East

Otford Jn
St Mary Cray Jn
Bickley Jn
Bromley South
Shortlands Jn
Beckenham Jn
New Beckenham
Parks Bridge Jn
Tanners Hill Jn
New Cross
North Kent E Jn
Spa Road
London Bridge E
20/11 ˝
20.16 20.17
20.31 20.32
20.55 20.56 (P5)
21.15 21.16
21/31 ˝
21.40 ˝ 21.41 ˝ FL
21/46 FL
21/50 ˝ FL
21.52 ˝ 21.53 ˝ FL
21/55 ˝
22/04 FL
22/05 FL
22/06 Line 3
22/06 ˝ Line 3
22/08 Line 3
22.10 (P3)