MarshLink Action Group 2016 AGM


The MarshLink AGM will be held in the Rye Town Hall at 7.00 p.m. on 15 April.

Following the formal Annual General Meeting (at approximately 7.15pm) there will be presentations and a Q&A session with:

  • Paul Best, Network Rail
  • Martin Grier, Southern Railway
  • Ray Chapman, Chairman, East Sussex Rail Alliance
  • Roger Blake, Railfuture

East Sussex Alliance are a driving force for bringing Javelin services to our area.

Railfuture campaign for a bigger and better rail network.


We have had a year of problems, mostly (certainly not only) to the west of Rye. The Hastings – London line has been subject to significant and frequent delays, largely (but not wholly) resulting from the vast works underway at London Bridge Station (and still for a few more years to come). To the east of Rye, the Ashford – London CX route has not been so badly affected but still there have been delays. Recently, the Ashford – Brighton service has been shortened because of a landslip at Glynde and this is expected to take about two months to clear. We will have at out AGM a representative from Southern Railway who may be able to comment on these issues as well as our other long term issues.


Looking further into the future, we have received presentations at the last two MLAG AGMs about a proposed direct Javelin service between London and Rye, Hastings and Bexhill and a half-hourly service along the MarshLink. The plan, in essence, voiced until recently has been for an in-fill electrification scheme and a relatively short length of duelling: the reality, of course, is far more complicated with the obvious need to change the complicated track layout at Ashford and considerable signalling works. And this is how plans appeared to be progressing until last month when, at Amber Rudd’s Transport Summit, there were suggestions from speakers that physical electrification may not be viable now (contrary to the finding of the Mott MacDonald report mentioned last year) and, indeed, may not be necessary. The suggestion now appears to be to do much as previously suggested (but without electrifying the track) and operating hybrid or bi-modal trains (to be explained at the AGM). MLAG’s concerns about this proposal are many and these will be voiced at the meeting as the proposals are debated by the representatives of Network Rail, ESRA and Railfuture.


Stuart Harland, Chairman, MarshLink Action Group

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