Rail partnership on track

Left to right, Alan Davies, local MP Amber Rudd, Kevin Boorman, Andy Harrowell, and Kevin Barry,

The Marshlink Community Rail Partnership (CRP), part of the Sussex Community Rail Partnership, held its AGM in Rye Town Hall last Friday, November 25.

Presentations were made by Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer, and guest speakers Andy Harrowell, Southern’s community investment and corporate social responsibility manager, Fiona Dodge and Alan Davies, from the Canterbury Oast Trust, and Amber Rudd MP.

Kevin Boorman, chair of the CRP, said later:- “It was an extremely positive meeting, despite the problems the Marshlink has suffered over recent months because of industrial action.

“Alan and Fiona introduced the work of the Canterbury Oast Trust, which has 160 students with learning and physical disabilities. They do fantastic work, and have recently become one of our partners, and have provided the flower tubs on Ashford station.

“We were also pleased that our local MP, Amber Rudd, was able to join us. She acknowledged the difficulties the line has experienced over recent months, and renewed her commitment to do all she could to bring high speed rail across the marsh to Hastings and Bexhill.

“I would like to pay particular tribute to Kevin Barry, the line’s development officer based at Rye. Kevin has worked tirelessly to improve station partnerships, and we have him to thank for a whole range of initiatives, from the flower tubs at Ashford through the Captain Pugwash exhibition at Rye, the photographic exhibitions at Bexhill, and so much more.

“Kevin is well supported by volunteers, and I would like to pay tribute to their work too. The Marshlink is a great example of true partnership, or should I say partnerships, which really benefits the line, those who travel along it, and the communities it serves.”









Photo: CRP


  1. The meeting was positive but held against the backdrop of the continued industrial action in the South and serious disruption of rail services. This was underscored by the MP. After the many warm tributes to those in the community doing good works related to the Railway, I asked about the Rye ticket machine, which has a screen that is virtually unusable when the sun shines. After some solutions were put forward, it was agreed by the Rail Authorities that they would have to consider further.


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