Rail summit will provide update on high speed link


Rail Minister Claire Perry and bosses from Southern and Southeastern are attending a Rail Summit called by Rye MP Amber Rudd at Sussex Coast College on Friday January 30.

Amber Rudd said: “Following my successful rail summit of 2013 during which I secured an ‘absolute commitment’ from Network Rail to extend high speed services to Hastings and Rye, I am continuing this with a further summit.

“The summit will provide an opportunity for discussion on the new franchise agreement, the last year and an update on plans for the extension of high speed services. “

Hastings Borough Council called for improvements to train journey times to London ahead of the summit this week.

Cllr Peter Chowney, lead member for regeneration at the council, explained :- “I am obviously very supportive of better rail links to London, and getting ‘Javelin’ services via HS1 and Ashford can’t happen soon enough for me.

“However, I am very concerned that journey times on existing lines continue to get longer, as a look at the timetable from 25 years ago shows.

“Then, old ‘slam door’ trains dating back to the 1950s and early 1960s were able to do the journey from Charing Cross in 84 minutes, and they did this every hour off-peak, and on Saturdays. The same journey now takes 93 minutes. The so-called Hastings express, launched earlier this month – which only runs once a day – still takes 90 minutes.”