A Day Out With Doctor Syn


On the last sunny day in September I was lucky enough to spend the day with Doctor Syn.

Doctor Syn was a fictional smuggling hero on the Kent marshes. Don’t worry, I wasn’t smuggling contraband into the country. My family brought me a driver experience on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and this Doctor Syn is RH&DR Number 10, a lovely Canadian Pacific style loco build in 1931.

I drove No. 10 as a ‘light loco’ (loco only) for four miles. Then I rode on the footplate for a 28 mile round trip over the whole line with a scheduled passenger service. It was a fantastic experience. The unforgettable feeling of travelling at 20 mph in a gently swaying 15 inch gauge loco with the heat of the fire, the smell of smoke and the hiss of steam.

Simon, who was driving No. 10 that day, taught me a huge amount. He’s been driving since he was 18 and he knows the line like the back of his hand. Many thanks Simon.


Apparently, I didn’t stop smiling all day!


Here are some photos.

Waiting for the signal at New Romney.Waiting for the Signal

Arriving at Hythe.Arriving at Hythe

A quick spin on the turntable.A Quick Spin at Hythe

Oiling and watering.Oiling and Watering.

Cylinder oil.Cylinder Oil

The ‘ashpit’ at Hythe.The 'Ashpit' at Hythe

A couple of pics of Doctor Syn. On the RH&DR the drivers have different stars to identify who’s driving the loco. Simon’s star is on the front of the loco. Apparently it came from Caledonian Railway practice.Doctor Syn

Makers Plate

Out onto the shingle banks, one of my favourite parts of the line.Out on to the Shingle Banks

Dungeness Station.Dungeness Station

Cleaning the loco and I’m still smiling…Pledge and Polish


  1. You lucky so and so, looks like you enjoyed yourself……envy in bucket loads.
    Um.. you’ll be building a minature version next.


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