The Society was founded in 1973 to promote interest in the South Eastern and Chatham Railway; its two constituent railways, the London Chatham & Dover Railway and the South Eastern Railway; and its successors.

Most members are primarily interested in the pre- 1923 Grouping era and this interest is reflected in its publications. However, in recent years there has been an increase in interest in later periods, particularly the 1950s and 1960s.