Rail timetable update

A new timetable - an improvement or not?

A lot of column inches have been used recently to discuss the Monday to Friday rail services after the new timetable is introduced on May 20. But here we in the Marshlink Action Group (MLAG) move on to other issues:

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.
Saturday timetable
It is important to look at the new timetable before starting your journey (although only weekday schedules are available at the moment). Check:

  • Online – 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 eight minutes 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.

Sunday timetable
The Sunday service is the same as the new Saturday service but without the additional later trains.

Railcards

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 April 20) 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 9:48 arriving St Pancras at 10:55). With the easement, the 8:48 MarshLink train can be taken arriving Ashford at 9:10 but, irritatingly, it is necessary to wait the 9:43 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 9:48 ex Rye (similarly the 9:57 ex Appledore).
Additional services at Three Oaks

Being late issuing last week’s press release has enabled us to see a letter in the Rye Observer of May 4 and comment on it.
A parent living in Three Oaks complained that, because of changes in train times from May 20, to get to school in Ashford on time 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. This is an issue of which MLAG had been made aware earlier and it was able to negotiate with Southern a stop at Three Oaks at 7:33am and also another stop on the return journey at 16.59 with minor adjustments at other stations.

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 coming into effect on May 20.
 

Photo: Rye News library

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