Charing Cross

Charing Cross railway station; the West End terminus of the South Eastern Railway (S.E.R.) serving Kent, East Sussex and, via Folkestone and Dover, the continent; situated on the north-west side of the River Thames and fronting onto the Strand close to Trafalgar Square, the station opened in 1864 when the line was extended from its original city terminus at London Bridge; the all-over arched roof was a distinctive landmark, loathed by many!

Henry James became very familiar with the station after his move to Rye in 1898, since the S.E.R., later the S.E.C.R., provided the fastest way to that town, via a change at Ashford. In 1910 the best train of the day was at 16:25, although this meant travelling in the ‘slip’ coach, which was uncoupled from the Dover express as it sped through Ashford non-stop! This give an arrival in Rye at 18:30, just allowing time to change for dinner. The only other express services making a reasonable connection at Ashford were at 11:00 and 17:25 (arriving at 13:28 and 19:45 respectively).