The new timetable – clarifications and information sharing
A lot of column inches have been used recently to discuss the Monday to Friday rail services after the new timetable is introduced on 20 May. But today we move on to some other issues:
(1) Weekend services
At various times we have alluded to weekend changes to the timetable but, with the deadline approaching, we would like to be clear about these changes which we have negotiated with Southern.
It is important you look at the new timetable before starting your journey (although only weekday schedules are available at the moment):
– online at https://www.railplan2020.com/timetables – choose the last option, “London and East Coastway”; or
– the printed booklet (which, we trust, will be available soon).
But, in essence, the Saturday schedule is the same as the new weekday schedule (so trains are mostly, but not all, about 8 mins earlier than currently) except for one major difference – the Rye Shuttle will not run at the weekend. As with the weekday schedule, the latest train services will be:
– 22.48 from Rye to Ashford (connecting onto the 23.16 Javelin service); and
– 23.25 from Ashford arriving Rye at 23.46 and travelling on to Hastings.
The Sunday service is the same as the new Saturday service but without the additional later trains.
MLAG recently negotiated with Southern an easing of the restrictions (or “easements”) that would otherwise have impacted railcard holders. These arrangements were agreed with Southern several weeks ago (see MLAG’s press release in Rye News on 20 April) but the information has only recently been amended at Rye Station.
For the avoidance of doubt (for the examples given in our article) the easements negotiated with Southern are:
– Senior Railcard – this railcard is usually restricted to services arriving in London after 10am (so the 09.48 arriving StPancras at 10.55). With the easement, the 08.48 MarshLink train can be taken arriving Ashford at 09.10 but, irritatingly, it is necessary to wait the 09.43 Javelin to ensure you comply with the card restrictions and don’t arrive in London before 10am; and
– Network Railcard – this railcard is restricted by departure time (normally 10am) and the easement now applies from the 09.48 ex Rye (similarly the 09.57 ex Appledore).
(3) Additional services at Three Oaks
Being late issuing this week’s press release has enabled us to see a letter in the Rye Observer of 4 May and comment on it. A parent living in Three Oaks complained that, because of changes in train times from 20 May, his daughter would have to choose between the 6.34am and 8.37am trains (too early and too late) or drive to Rye for the train to get to school in Ashford on time. This is an issue MLAG was advised about early on and was able to negotiate with Southern another stop at Three Oaks at 7.33am and also another stop on the return journey at 16.59 with minor adjustments at other stations.
(4) Speading the knowledge
We have contacted directly some organisations in Rye about the changes. Please ensure your colleagues and friends are aware of the changes.
Stuart Harland, Chairman MLAG