Archive 1

Passengers disrupted over Southern conductors’ strike

There are no trains today between Eastbourne and Ashford.

  • From the BBC 26/4/16 @ 11.09

    From the sectionEngland

Passengers on a Southern train
Image captionSouthern trains operate in Sussex, Surrey and parts of London, Kent and Hampshire

Passengers on Southern railway are facing more than 24 hours of disruption due to a strike by conductors over their role and driver-only trains.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union will walk out from 11:00 BST, with services being reduced from 07:30 BST.

Regional organiser Paul Cox said it had been left with “no alternative”.

Southern said many routes would have no services at all and queuing systems would be in operation at stations.

Live updates on the strike

Barrrier and passengers
Image captionSouthern has erected barriers to operate queuing systems at key stations

In a message to passengers, Southern said: “You may have a long wait before you are able to board a train. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee to get you to your destination.”

Southern rail strike: Affected routes

  • The Brighton to London line has a reduced service
  • A significantly reduced service on the Bognor Regis/Littlehampton-Three Bridges, Chichester-Brighton, Eastbourne-Brighton, Gatwick-Purley and East Grinstead-East Croydon lines
  • No Southern trains at all on the Tonbridge-Redhill, Dorking-Horsham, Oxted-Uckfield, Eastbourne-Ashford International and Lewes-Seaford lines

Southern, which is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway and operates in Sussex, Surrey and parts of London, Kent and Hampshire, plans changes to the role of conductors which will see responsibility for operating the doors switched to the driver.

It said there would be no job losses or cuts in salary and the changes would make staff more visible.

The RMT said passenger numbers had “increased dramatically” and conductors were “the eyes and ears preventing a major tragedy on the platforms and carriages”.

Mr Cox said the union had offered to discuss changes to the role “that would retain the operational and safety commitment from the conductors, but it fell on deaf ears”.

The Conservative MP for Wealden, Nus Ghani, told BBC Sussex: “The changes proposed, driver-only-operated trains, are happening on a third of the network already.

“I do not remember the last time I got on a train and there was someone to help me physically, on or off. Drivers can manage the doors,” she added.

Departure board at Brighton station
Image captionRail passengers at Brighton were warned to expect queues

Southern’s passenger services director, Alex Foulds, said the strike was “totally unnecessary”.

He warned passengers to “check before they travel”.

“Some routes will have a reduced service, some routes will have no train at all, and some trains will stop operating at about 6pm,” he said.

Two further 24-hour strikes are planned at the same time on 10 and 12 May.


Archive 2

Recent MarshLink Activity
Dear friend, supporter or member,

Marsh Link Activities

It is quite a while since our last meeting of members which was the AGM in April and I thought that you might be interested is some of the activity that has happened since then.

In particular we have attended a number of meetings concerning the future of railways in the area. I attach a summary of a meeting held in Bexhill on the prospect of Javelin trains running from Ashford through to Bexhill via Hastings and Rye chaired by the MP for Battle, Huw Merriman and a summary of a meeting held with Network rail to discuss future rail plans in Kent. We have sent our views on the latter to Network Rail which I hope that you will find informative.

At these meetings we try to ensure that despite being a small line that we are not forgotten when big decisions are being taken. A small victory is that our campaign for Sunday services to stop at Winchelsea and Three Oaks has finally born fruit with trains stopping on a Sunday as from 13 December. A small welcoming party is planned at Winchelsea station on that Sunday morning!

I am also in contact as membership secretary to check if these e.mail addresses are still valid and to update our membership details. Please let me know if you wish to be left off our mailings for any reason in future.

Next year we hope to update our web site ( so as to keep our membership better informed on relevant railway matters affecting our line.