The East Kent Light Railway, opened in 1911, was projected primarily to serve the freight needs of the Kent coalfield, although subsequently passengers were also conveyed between Shepherdswell on the London, Chatham & Dover Railway’s Canterbury to Dover main line, to a junction at Eastry, from whence ran lines to Richborough Port and Canterbury Road (some nine kilometres short of Canterbury.) A number of collieries (such as Wingham at TR 2557 and Woodnesborough at TR 2956), partially developed in the district, failed before production commenced, although that at Tilmanstone (TR 2850) sent coal to the docks at Dover via the EKLR and the main line, at least until the mine short-circuited this route when it constructed an independent overhead conveyor system direct from the pit head to the Eastern Docks (via its own twin tunnels through the chalk cliffs the bricked-up entrances to which can be seen from the ferry terminal).
The line from Shepherdswell (TR 2548) to Eythorne (TR 2849) was to have run across flat land around a small hill, but disagreements with a landowner led to Stephens driving his only tunnel, the 550 yards Golgotha tunnel between those two stations.
This, approached from Shepherdswell via quite a deep cutting, was planned to be a single bore twin-track tunnel, and was equipped with appropriately wide portals. However, to save on costs (the hallmark of Stephens’ lines) only half the chalk was excavated and a single track laid through the opened-out western side of the structure. The line through this tunnel opened for business in 1912, but was closed in 1987. It has subsequently been re-opened and is now used for trains operated by a railway preservation society based at Shepherdswell, running trains through the tunnel to Eythorne and back.