Rail users forced back on the buses

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RYE rail passengers were forced to get back on buses to complete their journey just days after the re-opening of the Ore Tunnel.

Celebrations for the reopening of the line after nine weeks of closure were short-lived when trains ground to a halt again last Friday during peak travelling to work time.

Signalling problems caused disruption to train services in the Ore area early on Friday morning causing delays in both directions. A points failure meant trains could not run through Ore station between 5.15am and 7.49am.

It happened in the same week as Ore tunnel reopened after a nine week closure for essential maintenance work.

Passengers face weeks of long bus journeys, often made in freezing cold weather. Southern was unable to run services between Hastings and Ashford International stations while Network Rail worked to correct the fault.

Passengers experienced delays of up to 30 minutes and bus services were arranged for passengers between Hastings, Rye and Ashford International in both directions. Services returned to normal around 8am.

Russell Spink, spokesman for Network Rail, said: “We carried out some routine maintenance work in the Ore area.

“When we switched the power back on about 5.15am we found a single point was not working.

“We apologise for any disruption caused to services.”

Rail bosses were in Rye last week to mark the re-opening of the line and to attend the MarshLink Action Group’s AGM.

Pictured here are Rye Mayor Cllr John Breeds and Cllr Mary Smith, herself a regular rail user, welcoming representatives of Network Rail and Southern Railways for the MarshLink Action Group meeting”