Questions about the plans for high speed trains to run from Ashford to Hastings can be expected at the Marsh Link Action Group’s (MLAG) Annual Meeting on March 20. Network Rail’s Senior Development Manager Lisa Goodman, who will be making a presentation in the Town Hall at 7 pm, will be asked when preliminary work on the proposed high speed extension will start.
Hastings MP Amber Rudd has been pressing for an earlier start than planned on this project after it was announced that there could be a business case for improving the Marsh line as the main Hastings to London line would be difficult and costly to improve further. A through train to London, with no need to change at Ashford, would significantly cut journey times.
However the costs of the scheme (including electrifying the line, providing a new passing loop and eliminating some level crossings) need to be worked out in detail first before funding can be considered.
Southern Railway (who have also been invited to the meeting) can expect many questions about delays and cancellations of trains, as well as ticket and parking costs. Poor communication about train delays has been the source of many complaints.