Boat train leaving the Martello Tunnel
This time we are in Sandgate, the year is 1918, and the wonderful vehicle is the No. 2 bus from Folkestone.
This was the superb form of public transportation which ran for five miles along the seafront between Sandgate and Hythe.  It was known affectionately as The Toast Rack because of its design.  It must have been lovely to trot along there on a summer day with a beautiful unobstructed view of the sea to your left all the way along to Seabrook and Hythe.
Here we have an 1850 drawing of Folkestone showing the viaduct, which almost looks out of place in such a rural setting doesn't it?  However, it brought Folkestone forward in leaps and bounds to have train transportation from the harbour.
Jumping up to 1932, this is a photo of the Central Station.
Back to steam trains.  Here we have a double header at Cheriton.
This one was entitled 'Eastern Portal, Shakespeare Cliff Tunnel'
Here we have an East Kent bus, which was on the Folkestone, Hythe and Ashford route.
This is also a Folkestone boat train, taken at Orpington in the 60's
A couple of modern photos taken by Cliff Sherwood of the Virtual Tourist site, (address on my links page).  On the left is the Central Station, and on the right is a sign for Folkestone West.
Here we have an old picture of Foord Viaduct. Is that water running underneath it?

It would make sense if it was.  After all, I expect Foord Road was named after a foord at one time wasn't it?  Can anybody enlighten me on this please?  Possibly it is the Pent Stream, as that used to run above ground in more places than it does now.
Two photos of the Channel Tunnel entrances.  On the left, the British side at night, and the French side in daylight on the right. 
Another photo of the little railway, as we always called it.  This one is at Dungeness with the lighthouse behind.

On the front of the engine it reads 'Hythe Chamber of Commerce'.  Were they sponsoring the running of it possibly?
This is a model of the Channel Tunnel terminal
Back to trains in 1907, and it shows the railway tunnel coming out of Shakespeare Cliff.  Is that part of the cliff still intact, or has some of it eroded?
This station was Shorncliffe in the year 1921.  It later became Folkestone West.
A closeup view of one of the little trains at Hythe.  I can't make out the name of the engine, but I am sure one of you will recognise it.
This fabulous photo of the signal box at Folkestone Central station was sent to me by Jean Adams.  The man you can see inside is her father, Paddy Kelly who was the signalman there in the early 60's when this photo was taken.

Jean said that as children they would often meet him at work, and were thrilled when he allowed them to pull the levers to let the trains pass.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us Jean!
This one could have been put into the Streets page, as it shows a lot of Cheriton Road, or the Parks & Gardens, as you can see Radnor Park in the background, but as it has both a train and a bus in the picture, I decided it should go into the Public Transport section.

The train is of course just leaving the Central Station, and the bus looks as if it is heading into Folkestone.  I don't know the year, but would guess late 20's or early 30's, but probably someone who knows their vehicles better than I do would have a better handle on it.
And here is the real thing, taken from the inside.
We have the Man Of Kent pulled into the Central Station.
This was entitled the Drawing Room car on the Folkestone Express, also the South Eastern & Chatham Railway.  Who knew it was so opulent inside!  Now *that* is the way to travel!
Update:  Alan tells me that this cliff is indeed still intact.  Which is quite something considering the amount of erosion that has taken place all along the East Cliff.
I took this one in 2005.  It is of course the bus station showing the offices.
If you have your own memories of Folkestone, be sure to share them with us by jotting them down in the book below.
This page updated
May 7, 2019
This pic is pretty small, but Ian just sent it to me to say 'yes' I was right in saying there are three tunnels.  Here is how he explains it:

"The smaller tunnel (service tunnel) acts not only as a means of escape in an emergency but also as a ventilation system forcing air into both the train tunnels,as the air pressure in the service tunnel is higher level, in the event of fire it would force smoke away.

Each of the train tunnels have two crossover points so it is possible to travel in one tunnel cross over under sea to the other tunnel and nearer the coast back to the original tunnel making it possible to do maintenance work withought stopping the train service".
Junction Station, it says on the sign 'Change for Folkestone Harbour'.  This station was later called Folkestone East, and it was closed in 1965.
Later called Folkestone West
Closed 1931
Still operating, but now unmanned.  Building on the right was restored in 2009.
The South Eastern Main Line reached Folkestone in 1843, with a station being opened at Folkestone Junction (Folkestone East) on 18 December 1843. Folkestone West was then opened in 1864, with a station named Cheriton Arch being provided between the two on 1 September 1884. The name Radnor Park was adopted in 1886, and for a few years with just two platform faces, the station was rebuilt in 1890 to add a bay. The station was renamed Folkestone Central in 1895.
The station was rebuilt at the time of the route's electrification in 1961 with two island platforms, linked by a subway and with ramps leading up from the ticket office and concourse, which is itself above street level (an approach road and accompanying pedestrian ramp leads up from Cheriton Road). In 1999 one island platform was abandoned, along with the subway; the platform has not been demolished, although all buildings have been removed.
Source: Wikipedia.
Built in 1844.  The Harbour branch and station closed to regular passenger train services in 2001 although the line and station continued to be used by the Venice-Simplon Orient Express (VSOE) and railtours. As of March 2009, Network Rail closed the branch, and an association has formed to preserve it as a heritage line.
Warren Halt was first opened by the South Eastern Railway in 1886 which installed a bridge over the Main Line leading to a gate on to The Warren from which the public could picnic and enjoy the dramatic scenery in the area; a zig-zag path led down the East Cliff to the station. The Halt enjoyed, however, a brief existence, closing after the Summer in the face of threats by Lord Radnor who felt that his land was being trespassed upon.  There is also a suggestion that the station had not been formally authorised by the Board of Trade which, upon discovering its existence, refused to grant consent.
Warren Halt was reopened 22 years later by the South Eastern and Chatham Railway and remained open until the evening of 19 December 1915 when a large landslip resulted in the entire undercliff supporting the Main Line moving towards the sea causing approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of chalk to slip or fall burying Warren Halt. Fortunately, the railway watchman was able to stop the 6.10pm Ashford to Dover service as it emerged from Martello Tunnel, hauled by D class, no. 493.
The station as well as the affected section of the South Eastern Main Line remained closed until 1919. The Warren was a popular picnic spot in Edwardian times and a nearby tea chalet served hundreds of visitors daily.
In 1923 the Halt was rebuilt by the Southern Railway which added a set of platforms. The station remained open for a further 16 years before another landslip in 1939. The Halt was, however, kept open as a staff facility until 1971 and a nearby siding subsequently served early Channel Tunnel works.

Warren Halt
Warren Halt courtesy Alan F. Taylor
Junction Station 1957
Folkestone West now - formerly Shorcliffe
Folkestone Central Station now
Chugging away from the Harbour along the Tram Road
Same place in 2008
A double header going away from the Harbour station in 1960.
This photo taken by Lee Podgson in 2007 shows the Harbour station,  sadly neglected for a very long time.  It has now been restored as a heritage site.
On the right, another one taken by Lee at the Harbour station.  Showing what I believe is the Coastguard Emergency tug Anglian Monarch, which is just about the only vessel you ever see moored alongside any more.
Here is what Alan Taylor said, who sent these two photos:

"Last Saturday 24 th January we had a steam train down the branch line to the harbour station.
The Kentish Express reported: A Special train will travel from London Victoria to Folkestone Harbour on Saturday, pulled by the 34067 Tangmere steam engine, (Battle of Britain Class.)
The Railway Touring Co has organised the event before the harbour station closes for good.
The train arrived at the harbour station at 1405 hrs and left at 1425 hrs."

However, Folkestone Harbour Station had one last glorious kick at the cat before it closed.   On the 24th January 2009 The Golden Arrow,  34067 Tangmere made a final trip from London to Folkestone.  Throngs of people turned out to see this blast from the past.
Here are a few more photos from that visit, supplied to me this time by my nephew Dave Bullard. 
There are lots of videos on You Tube showing this visit if you would like to see more.
Now a look at one of the reasons why Folkestone Harbour Station had to close.  On the left is the EuroTunnel Gallery.  I haven't seen this, but would guess it is an exhibit showing the first attempts at digging a Channel Tunnel in the 1800's.  On the right is a postcard showing Morris Dancers entertaining at the Euro Tunnel entrance.  I love Morris Dancers, and haven't seen any for years!
In contrast here is the high speed train at Folkestone West.  Photo taken by Andy Cadier.
The Highlander
The Hurricane at New Romney
The Bluebottle at Hythe
St. Mary's Bay
The Southern Maid at New Romney
Dr. Syn at Dymchurch
Dr. Syn near Greatstone
The Typhoon at Hythe
An early taxi rank.  The horse & carriages were available for hire outside Radnor Park.
Next we have a couple of charabancs in Hythe, taken probably in the 1920's.  On the left, you can see one in Hythe High Street.  Interesting to note that Davis & Davis on the right were advertising a fireproof depository.

On the right, we see two charabancs in Military Road, outside what I believe to be the Ordnance Arms.  Pub crawl maybe? :-)
Here we have the bus station in use, picking up people to take them to Shorncliffe Camp and Cheriton.  I don't have a year for it, but would guess late 50's or 60's
Stan Cascino sent me this photo of Bouverie Square before the trees and tennis courts were all swept away to build the bus station in 1955
In those days, you could catch your bus in the road around the square, and the East Kent Road Car Company offices were located on the North East side of Bouverie Square at No. 13.  The above photo, and the next two were kindly supplied by Alan Taylor.
This photo shows Hospital Hill in Seabrook, and the large building is the East Kent Road Car Co. depot, where the buses were housed before the bus station was built.
I am sorry, but I didn't make note of who sent me either of the two above, but if you drop me a line, I will add your name to it.
The photo on the far left is from 1957, which is pretty much the way it looked when my ex-husband worked for the East Kent Road Car Company as a driver.  I took the other two in 2006.  Alan Taylor tells me that the East Kent Road Car Co. has been taken over by Stagecoach Bus Co. There is no office in Folkestone now. The one in the Bus Station at Bouverie Square has been closed and they put timetables in a rack outside the building which I gather is just used by the drivers as a rest room etc.
The above two were sent to me by Robbie Paramour.  They are not Folkestone, but Silver City Airways in Lydd.  It looks as if Ford was using them to promote their new cars, and Silver City were using Ford to show how easy it was to take your car abroad.
Folkestone of course has had all forms of public transport - except possibly for an underground railway, but not all of them will be shown on this page, because some, like the cross-channel ferries and the cliff lifts have pages of their own.
As the years go by, others, like the Channel Tunnel above will probably warrant a page of its own, but as I don't have that many photos of it yet, I will include it here for now.
Trains have always featured strongly in Folkestone.  When I lived there, we had the Junction Station, the Central Station, Shorncliffe Station and the boat trains which ran right into the harbour.  In days gone by, we also had the Warren Halt.  Nowadays, it is Folkestone  West (Shorncliffe) and Central, and the station at the harbour and Folkestone East (Junction) has gone the way of the dinosaur.
Also, when I lived there, the buses were mostly double decker, with single deckers, or one man buses as we called them,  just coming in.  They were called one man buses because they didn't require a conductor.
Channel Tunnel entrance & sidings
Above is the boat train again, this time it is leaving the harbour.  Notice the double header, this was necessary to pull it up the steep incline.
This is entitled Folkestone Car Train. S.E. & C.R.  which stands for the South Eastern & Chatham Railway.
This is how the Junction Station looked in 1927.  It then became Folkestone East before it was closed.
Another form of transportation was the bath chair, many of which could be seen along the Leas.  This photo was near the Harvey Statue at the junction of the Leas and Castle Hill Avenue
Two modes of transportation can be seen here in what they were then calling Market Square, which later came to be known as the Red Lion Square in Hythe.  On the left is a charabanc, very popular for works outings etc. and just arriving in the square on the right can be seen the Hythe & Sandgate Tramcar, or toastrack.  It is stopped outside the terminal, and if you look carefully, you can still see the sign for it on the building today.
The Hythe & Sandgate Tramcar once again.  This one is dated 1912, so I would say it is a safe bet that none of the people in the photo are alive today.
A bus stopped at the corner of Canterbury Road and Wood Avenue.  The stop reads 'East Kent Omnibuses stop here. Sandgate, Hythe, Folkestone Harbour, Town Hall, Central Station.
Another form of public transportation is the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Light Railway.  Little trains that run all over the Romney Marshes from Hythe to Dungeness.  Still in operation today, they are great fun to travel on, and I enjoyed my last trip a few years ago as much as I did when I was a child.  If you want to see more, the RHDR has its own page, check the Index.
One of the trains at Dymchurch 1957
Here are some more photos of trams.  Above left you can see the Sandgate, Hotel Imperial & Hythe tram.  Far right is the terminus in Hythe.  To get your bearings, you will note the Red Lion Hotel on the left, which is still there.  The photos directly above and left are more pictures of the Toastrack which ran along the seafront from Sandgate to Hythe.
Now look at this!  It was sent to me by Nick Tozer, and it looks like the exact same picture, except this time, the train is called Coronation Limited.  Methinks someone has done a little doctoring somewhere here!

Possibly it was done just on the postcards, a way to sell advertising.  They didn't even have Photoshop in those days either - hah!
A modern photo of a train running through Palmarsh.  Photo taken by and reproduced here with permission of George Hills
Who would have guessed that Folkestone once had llamas?  I think this photo below left would date from around 1915, and it was possible to have a ride in a llama trap.  I believe they would take you along the West Beach/ Lower Sandgate Road area.  The card on the right was entitled Rupert at Folkestone.  I am assuming that Rupert was the llama!
A newspaper cutting of Prince Albert cutting the first turf to build the Hythe and Sandgate Railway in 1872.
Now, we are going to go back to the Channel Tunnel question and clear it up once and for all.  I had an e-mail from Ian of Folkestone, an employee of Eurotunnel, which is the name of the company that runs and operates the infrastructure, and is the name used in marketing right across Europe.  He said this:  "I can confirm that it is called The Channel Tunnel.  The name le Shuttle was a brand name believed to make the operation sound more European however was dropped some 5 years ago as it has slant towards the French, and being a bi national company this didn't seem so PC."  So there you have it, another question answered! 

Thanks Ian - and thank you so much for sending the above photograph of the inside of the tunnel.  Is that a train coming towards us?  Actually, if I have my facts right, I believe there are three tunnels, one for each direction and a service tunnel in the centre, so there is absolutely no chance of meeting a train head on.  I do think it's a shame that you can't see outside the tunnel while you are going through, wouldn't it be interesting to see the jelly fish floating alongside?
I can't tell you how much I jumped up and down with joy when I managed to buy this one!  I don't know the year, but this was how you travelled from Folkestone to Dover before buses were invented!  I imagine it wasn't a very comfortable ride, and was horrific when it rained.
And here is one that shows you the colour of it.  However, it may not be accurate, as it was hand tinted in those days, and the colours you got were the ones in your palette.  Pretty though wasn't it?  According to this one, it was called The Active.
Thanks to Legends of Folkestone, this is the modern day version of the Folkestone to Dover Stagecoach!  The company is now called Stagecoach UK Bus Co., the bus carries a lot more passengers, and goes to Hythe as well as Folkestone and Dover.  I imagine the ride is a lot faster, and a great deal more comfortable too!  As you can see, it was heading past Debenhams on its way to Bouverie Square.
This is the GWR 57xx 0-6-OPT No. 4601 at the Junction Station.  I bought this copy, but the original copyright belongs to Mike Boakes, otherwise known as The Railway Photoman.  If you are a railway buff, you should check out his e-bay site HERE
What a difference a few years makes!  On the left is another bus which went to Cheriton, Folkestone Harbour and the Central Station owned by the Folkestone District Road Car Company.  Looking at the wheels, I would guess it was quite a bone shaking ride!  On the right is a modern photo with thanks to Legends of Folkestone this bus goes to Hythe, New Romney and Lydd.
I think these cards might have been promotional ones for Euro Tunnel.  On the left you can see the project in the early stages, and the one on the right looks like a grand opening, complete with fireworks.
Who remembers this taxi service?  Located in the now demolished building of 14 Bouverie Square, this was their ad in the Kelly's Directory of 1958.
This 1914 photo shows another bus, this time the company was called the Folkestone District Road Car Company, and alongside it you can see the driver and conductor.
I bought a couple of cards from Hector Duggan, and he very kindly threw in this scan of some tram tickets for free!  Thank you Hector!
Another nice view of Sandgate Station, which was in operation between 1891 and 1931.  Note the ad for Pears Soap - you could hardly miss it could you?
Oh dear, I've done it again!  Someone gave me permission to steal their photo a long time ago, and I just saved it without adding their name to the pic.  It's a beautiful shot of the Tram Road with a train leaving the harbour.  The pic was entitled 'Train-ex-Southern Railway R1 0-6-0T No.31337 and three sisters on the Folkestone Harbour Branch', so if anyone recognises it as theirs, please let me know, and I will give credit where it is due.
Another one of the building of the Channel Tunnel
The boring machine installation for the French side of the Channel Tunnel, Sangatte in 1988
Two of the boat train leaving the harbour.  The one on the right was 1954, but I think the left one is earlier than that.
A nice shot going away from the harbour station in 1955
As you can probably tell, I bought the photo above and the two below from the same photographer.  All nice shots of the now defunct station at Folkestone Harbour.
This one too is a photograph, not a post card, of an engine outside the Junction Station, later called Folkestone East.
But this one is definitely a postcard, and a very nice one at that.  It shows Warren Halt, which was a very busy stop during the summer months back in the day.  The warren beach and the picnic grounds there would be packed with people.  I wonder why it fell out of favour? 
The Sandgate Tramway again, the way you got from Sandgate to Hythe.  This one clearly shows the tracks the toast rack would run on.
A screen grab from Google Street view of the same spot.  As you can see, the war memorial has been added to that corner, the wall has been rebuilt (I think), but in the same style, and the drinking fountain is still there.  Does it work?  I don't know.  The horse trough you can see just behind the horses has also been removed.  Military road is also much wider on that corner now.  In the distance in the modern photo, you can see the transportation used today for the same route, only now you can travel a lot further than just along the seafront.
The No. 19 to Saltwood in the Bus Station, Bouverie Square.  I don't have a date for this one though.
A very old card showing off the relatively new viaduct bringing trains to Folkestone via the South Eastern Railway.  Going under the bridge is the Pent Stream, with Mill Pond nearby.  In the background you can see the Bradstone Mill.
When I lived in Folkestone, the Tram Road had two way traffic.  At some point, during the years that I wasn't able to get home, they turned it into one way, with traffic only going towards the harbour.  At some point too, they also decided to make it a bus route, which it wasn't when I lived there, with double decker buses covering the service.  Now, these buses can only get under Radnor Bridge if they drive down the centre of the road, and even then, make it by the skin of their teeth. 

In 2014 someone decided it would be a good idea to make the Tram Road two way traffic again.  As you can see by the bus stop on the other side of the bridge in the photograph, this bus service runs now in both directions as well.  This photograph was taken by Andy Cadier, who posted it to the Remembrance Line Facebook page.  He took it from the top deck of a double decker bus, the frustrated bus driver is on the left, going to seek out the council employee who had parked that vehicle under the bridge!

Apparently there is now a centre lane directing taller traffic to go through the middle, to avoid a collision with the bridge, but with no lights or stop sign to slow the traffic coming the other way, I think I see it as an accident waiting to happen, as nothing else can go through at the same time as a bus!  I guess there is also nothing in place to prevent the stupidity of council employees!  With thanks to Andy for allowing me to use his photo.
Remember when the trains ran down the Folkestone Harbour branch?  If you would like to relive those days, check the above video out from 7th May, 1994

Special workings on the Folkestone Harbour Branch with BR Class 4 2-6-4T's nos. 80079 and 80080 on 7 May 1994 to celebrate the opening of the Channel Tunnel. From the Model Railways On-Line website  Uploaded to You Tube by Paul Plowman.
I bought the photograph on the left online mainly because that used to be the bus I caught every day to come into Folkestone to work from where I lived in Cheriton.  Imagine my surprise when the photo arrived, and I looked more closely at it, who should be behind the wheel but Peter Dyer, my ex-husband!  You can't see his face well, but as he is 6ft 6in tall, there is no mistaking him.  I sent him the photo, and he confirmed it, saying he always had trouble with that Guy bus, as the cab was very small, and he had to adjust the seat right up to give himself enough leg room to drive it.  He could date it pretty closely for me too, saying those old buses were built before the war, and were replaced in the early 60's, so dated it between 1961 and 1963.  He was tickled, as he had no idea the photo had been taken.  You won't see a bus right there any more, as you can see by the 2017 photo above, that part of Sandgate Road has been pedestrianised.  You won't see him there any more either, as he now lives in Australia!
With grateful thanks to The Maidstone & District and East Kent Bus Club for allowing me to add this lovely photo of theirs.  As you can see, it is the 99 again from Shorncliffe and Cheriton heading up Sandgate Road to the Bus Station.  This one is especially relevant at the time of writing, because Debenham's, the store that took over from Bobby's, shown to the left of the bus, announced they were closing in a few months.  This will be the end of an era, because there has been a department store in that location since the early 1900's.  Before Bobby's opened, owned by Frederick Bobby, I believe the site was private housing and possibly small hotels, similar in design to those few that are left in Bouverie Square.

As Bobby's was still there when this photo was taken, it must date prior to 1972, as that was when the site was taken by Debenham's.  However, change was in the air, this section of Sandgate Road had already been made one-way, and is now of course totally pedestrianised.

It must surely be some kind of record that in approximately 120 years, only two businesses have occupied a retail location in Folkestone!  We are all now wondering what will go in there.  Large department stores are a dying breed except of course for Asda (Walmart here in Canada), so I expect it will be divided up.  I really hope they don't end up demolishing the building, because the upper part especially has a lot of character.
Isn't this great?  It was the Folkestone Rover, owned by the Queen's Hotel on the corner of Sandgate Road and Guildhall Street.  I guess you could say it was the hotel shuttle service of the day!  Most of the larger hotels provided this service.
Warren Road crossing
Trevor Groves, of the Maidstone & District and East Kent Bus Club, thought we might like to see this one too, this is when Folkestone began using the 'one-man' buses, and did a few Conductors out of their jobs.  Trevor tells me this one is an ex Southdown Leyland.  Once again it is driving up Sandgate Road, just passing Bobby's.