The fight is on for HS1 trains to stop at Rye

A Southern train ENGPPP00120101215144317
A Southern train ENGPPP00120101215144317

A campaign is being launched to ensure that high speed Javelin trains stop at Rye when the rail link is extended in the future.

There are concerns that Bexhill may already be ahead of the game when it comes putting pressure on to become a stop.

The Rye rail line is currently one of the only lines in the country to be single track and not electrified.

Stuart Harland, chairman of Rye rail group Marshlink, said: “We will be going hell for leather to get this. It would be terrible to see high speed trains whipping through Rye.

“It is a fact that HS1 is the only thing that would make electrification of the line financially viable.

“The diesel trains that operate from Rye are ten years old now and there are already problems with their maintenance.

“Ninety percent of the people we have spoken to have been very much in favour of HS1 trains stopping at Rye.

“We need to push hard for this. The MP Amber Rudd is actively promoting the Hastings stop on her website but has not been mentioning Rye. We need to change this.

“Bexhill have been pushing hard for this as well and have prepare a paper on it. I don’t want Rye to be forgotten.

But Pat Hughes, of Rye and District Community Transport, said: “There has been a lot of discussion on either side and it seems evenly balanced between people who do and don’t want high speed trains to stop at Rye.

“Some people are concerned that if Rye becomes a commuter town it will put a demand on medical services, housing and school places.”

Cllr Mary Smith said: “Unless we make our case strongly in terms of tourism and regeneration, Rye could be seen as a small place and the trains will not stop here.”

Ray Chapman of the East Sussex Rail Alliance described the HS1 extension as “A monumental moment, potentially signifying the greatest investment in infrastructure in this area in over 167 years.”