The past week has been an active one for your MLAG Committee and other Rail User Groups (“RUGs”) along the MarshLink.
As previously reported, the result of Phase 1 of GTR/ Southern’s 2018 timetable was that Southern issued a draft timetable building in turning around the Ashford-Brighton service at Hastings. This affects many rail users travelling beyond Hastings – among them school and college students, workers and tourists.
It has to be recognised (as several locals have pointed out to me) there is one advantage of the MarshLink service turning round at Hastings – the timing of the reduced MarshLink service would be more reliable, not being subject to hold-ups around Brighton: although I would like to debate this issue, it remains that turning around at Eastbourne would also avoid the Brighton problem.
And so it is that the RUGs have held meetings with Southern timetable planners to propose that the service turns around at Eastbourne but with an additional four-car electric service between Hastings and Eastbourne to remove the current overcrowding on the two-car MarshLink diesel to the west of Hastings.
MLAG and the RUGs have received support from many local organisations for the proposals being put forward and we are hopeful that our argument is well received by Southern and also the Department for Transport who, ultimately, underwrite train services through the franchise.
MLAG will update Rye News with the progress of discussions, which continue, when possible.
Meanwhile, the MarshLink appears to be back to normal service (if “normal” adequately describes the published timetable).
Photo: Rye News library
Image Credits: Rye News library .