The good news is that the RMT strike has been suspended and that trains are running again today (Thursday) between Ashford and Eastbourne via Rye to a full timetable. As of last night this seemed unlikely but earlier I went to Rye station to confirm that the trains have returned! We are not yet out of the woods as further industrial action is possible/probable.
Earlier MLAG issued another Press Statement.
PRESS RELEASE – 11 August 2016
RAIL CEASEFIRE DECLARED – WHAT WILL FOLLOW?
This has been a strangely confusing week on (but mostly off) the rails.
Monday, as prescribed by the RMT and Southern, started without any trains operating on the MarshLink.
On Tuesday it came as something of a surprise to realise the replacement buses, put on to substitute for the Rye Shuttle during the “temporarily amended timetable”, were still operating during the strike. They gave some peak hours contact with Ashford and Hastings but they seemed to be mostly used by tourists who hadn’t found alternative means of transport.
Wednesday brought the announcement the strike was off ! Well, the strike may be off but what might be called the “go-slow” (which brought about the “temporarily amended timetable”) continued – for the MarshLink, this means the normal rail service apart from the Rye Shuttles although these will continue to be substituted by the bus replacement service. But the devil is in the detail – it will take a while (undefined) to get things back on track again with the hope that Friday will be the first day of operating the “temporarily amended timetable.”
But where do we go from here ? If the ACAS talks fail we may well be back to last Monday’s position again. Only one thing is certain, Southern’s passengers continue to be the fall guys.
Southern has promised to update their website with the latest news so do check http://www.southernrailway.com/
We wait to see what next week brings.
MarshLink Action Group