Chatham Main Line: London Victoria to Gillingham is Coming to Train Simulator!

Written by: TrainSim-James

Main photograph copyright and reproduced courtesy of Clem Rutter.

Built throughout the 19th Century as a means to connect the Bustling City of London to the thriving Medway Towns and the beautiful Kent Coast, the Chatham Main Line holds a unique history and has played host to some of the country’s most cutting edge and iconic third rail traction. Until the arrival of High Speed 1 the Chatham Main Line was the fastest way to get into London from the Medway Towns, and this classic line is coming soon to Train Simulator.

After being constructed by the rivaling South Eastern Railway and London Chatham & Dover Railway in the 1800s, the line from Dover to London Victoria was littered with duplicate stations across the line in an effort for each company to move more passengers than the other. Eventually neither company was in the lead and both ended up losing a lot of money, it was not until they combined into the South Eastern and Chatham Railway did things start to improve.

Electrification came to the Chatham Main Line in the 1930s and reached the coast by the end of the 1950s thanks to Southern Railway’s effort to provide a modern and reliable service throughout Kent, Sussex and beyond. The newly laid Third Rail saw the introduction of the classic ‘slam door’ era with various EMUs such as the Class 402, Class 411 and Class 423 dominating the Main Line. The old Mark 1 body design of the EMUs lasted well into the 2000s by which time there were being replaced with brand new Bombardier Class 375 as ordered by Connex South Eastern, ‘slam doors’ also shared part of the Chatham Main Line with Class 373 Eurostars when they operated between Waterloo and Fawkham Junction (situated between Longfield and Farningham Road).

In more recent years the Chatham Main Line has seen multiple developments to further increase capacity on the bustling line, the latest of which is the introduction of a brand new station at Rochester which features a fit-for-purpose, spacious ticket hall and platforms long enough to cope with 12 car trains during peak hours. Another development is the timetable, half-hourly semi-fast services take passengers from London Victoria to either Dover or Ramsgate, with several peak hour connections to Sheerness-on-Sea. There are also regular slower services which operate via the Catford Loop, this is performed by Class 465 Networkers. 

TrainSim-James

39 Comments

  • The picture and article suggest this will be post the recent re-signalling – not sure what the new timetable in May will bring in terms of services to the new bay platform at Rainham, but if they are going to be from Victoria along the new route, it would be a real shame if it ended one station short. Any thoughts to go the extra mile (or three from Gillingham!) if that’s the case?

  • I been proposing this on my article (which was usually on the old Engine Driver website) and finally, you are going to make it. Make sure you include the blue stripe on the 465s. I’m very hype!! :DD

  • I can’t wait to see this, i however would love to see more routes out of Northern London. The West coast main line or the Chiltern route for example.

  • At current the class 375 in TS is just a reskin of the class 377 included with the Brighton Mainline from 2013 and I think it could really do with an update. The main differences are that class 375s have the different headlight clusters (like someone else mentioned) and that they do not have external CCTV cameras on the ends of the coaches. This would mean they also don’t have CCTV monitors in the cabs either. Could we be seeing these changes with this new route?

  • would all 4 liveries of the Southeastern Electrostar be included ( like the 3 that come with Faversham and the one on market place ) ?

    • All liveries that are included are shown on the store page, please visit this page for more information.

  • Awesome! I wonder if Danny of Dovetail Games will combine this route into his London to Brighton/South London Network/Midland Mainline combination route for Steam Workshop. But even as a standalone route, I believe this will be a great route.

  • This is really awesome news!!! I really can’t wait for this to come out!! I live VERY near this route so it should be a bundle of joy. But one question, Round about how much will it cost?

    • We currently have no information concerning the price, naturally more news will come in due course.

  • Cool. My local station, Beckenham Junction, should be on Train Simulator. Can’t wait to stop there, having used it for ages.

  • Which Liveries are being included for the Electrostar’s ? Same as the High Speed Route or the new Blue which is currently on workshop?

    • The Class 375/3, 375/6 and 375/7 will feature in the Southeastern Dark Blue Livery.

  • I can see this route having quite some potential to it. Is there going to be the short bit off to Orpington? That was allow for more scenarios in the use of a Class 465/0-1. Will it also split at Brixton and the two routes one via Beckenham Junction and the other via Catford? How about the line to Lewisham and then off to Charing Cross and Cannon Street? It could from there link up near North or Orpington with the lines via Catford and Beckenham Junction.

    This route has a lot of potential and our ideas could really make it worth it. However, if it is linear, it won’t be so exciting.

    Also, what about a Class 465/9?

    • The Orpington Branch and the Catford Loop will both be included with the route. We will pass the rest of your suggestions on to our Development Team.

  • Really….

    ok well, i guess ill see the images nearer the time

  • Agreed, if you are bringing the 375 /3, /6, /7 then this should include the correct front. Will we ever see a 376?

    • Hopefully one day, it’s certainly on our list of possibles.

  • I cant wait to see this route. I love the London Brighton Mainline so this could be my new favourite Route.

  • Certainly wasn’t expecting this! By any chance you could devote some more time (if not done so already) to add the branch to Orpington? Its only another 2 and a bit miles and would serve as an ideal teminus for some class 376’s 😉

    • The branch to Orpington and the Catford Loop will be included with the Chatham Main Line route.

  • I think you may have made a certain Moleman very happy with this announcement.

    • I thought exactly the same David Searle

  • Oh yeah! This year is epic, now I got choose between pick Chatham Mainline or “Mysterious French DLC” and Class 73 Gatwick Express. You don’t make it easy.

  • What stock will this route come with? Anything new?

    • The Chatham Main Line will be accompanied by the Southeastern Class 465/0, 465/1 and the Class 375/3, 375/6 and 375/7.

      • Will any of the Units included be updated? Because the 465 could benefit from an update.

        • What updates would you like to see for the Class 465?

          • The Hitachi motors, and will the 375 come with the /3, /6 and /7 fronts?

            • Great Suggestions! We will pass these on to our Development Team.

          • Armstrong Powerhouse has done only the Metro-Cammell sounds for your existing 465/2 and/or 465/9. Would love to hear the Brush motor sounds for the included 465/0 and 461/1 as this route will come with those!

          • And for the 375, make sure that the unrotating wheels on one bogie of one of the vehicles is fixed, and that all the underframe equipment boxes are actually attached to the frame, some are just floating in mid air. These have been faults on all previous Electrostar portrayls. And as already suggested, some Class 375 subclasses have different light clusters to the L2B style ones seen so far in TS.

            • Thanks for the suggestions, we will pass these on to our Development Team.

          • If you are to update the class 465, please fix this:
            – missing sound from the guard calling the driver
            – speed gauge becomes inaccurate above 40 mph
            – AWS alarm doesn’t keep sounding until the acknowledge button is pressed

            • Thank you for the suggestions, we will pass these on to our Development Team.

      • Will they have the smaller headlight clusters (Potential for a Southern 377/1 reskin)? The 375/8 and 375/9 are present in London-Faversham and South London but somehow have the /3, /6, and /7 numbers. When this is released only the /8 and /9 numbers should be included into those older versions.

        • We will pass your suggestion on to our Development Team.

  • Hoping for full TPWS.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.