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Latest 2017 BML2 Project Publication

BML2 response to Gibb Report BML2 response to 2017 Gibb report

Our 10pp response to the Gibb Report is now available to download for viewing or printing.

Click on image to start the download.

It is approx 2.5mb in landscape pdf format.









Important BML2 Information, Facts, Figures and News Reports


£15 BILLION private investment for BML2

Thanks solely to the long-running Wealden Line Campaign, inaugurated in 1986, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Greater London are in the extremely envious position of having two main lines serving the capital reopened.

Every serious threat over the past thirty years, including large retail outlets, residential accommodation, industrial unit encroachment, gyratory road schemes and a few others, has been vigorously fought – and won.


At its recent AGM, tribute was paid to its faithful and long-standing members, as well as those councils and Members of Parliament who have stood by the campaign’s aims despite all the odds and in the face of such adversity.


Accordingly it was with great pleasure that Lewes MP Maria Caulfield was, on Wednesday 29 November, able to stand up in the House of Commons during a debate to directly address the Secretary of State for Transport and ask:


“Can I specifically ask on the line reopening because we have the Lewes to Uckfield line in my constituency with the BML2 scheme that could be opened very, very easily, which would improve connectivity and put towns like Seaford and Newhaven on a mainline for the first time. We have private investors willing to put up over £15 billion to fund that. Would the Secretary of State use that scheme as one of the first to illustrate what really can be done?”


In a positively warm and welcoming manner Chris Grayling responded:


“My Honourable Friend knows that I met the investors who are interested in pursuing this project, I have said that I am very open to doing so, I’m waiting with ........



 For more details CLICK HERE to read the full article

BML2 response to Gibb Report

BML2 response to Gibb Report


The publication this summer of the Gibb Report necessitates a response to those matters which could directly affect the BML2 Project. The author of the report, Chris Gibb, aims to provide: 'Changes to improve the performance of the Southern network and train services, and restore passenger confidence'.


His report is dominated to a large extent by the continuing dispute over Driver-only operation (DOO). It is not for us to take sides or comment upon the current industrial disagreement. We are, however, interested in what Gibb has to say about the Uckfield line, hence this document outlining our views.


Our 10-page report is in pdf format and is best read on a Desktop or Laptop computer, as it has been prepared in landscape format, or alternatively, download and print out on a Colour laser or inkjet printer.





Government urges private investors to press on with BML2

Considerable progress has been made over the summer months by the consultants appointed to investigate the engineering challenges presented by the BML2 project and provide suitable outline designs. Much of their work has been highly professional as well as thorough and extensive, whilst over the past few weeks a number of further strategic enhancements have been put forward for inclusion. When the pre-feasibility study is complete and available for publication then we shall of course comment further.


Shortly before the Parliamentary recess, we had the publication (in late-June) of the Gibb Report, ordered by the Secretary of State and the DfT in search of solutions to improving the Southern network and sorting out many of its fundamental problems. The report deals extensively with the long-running industrial dispute over Driver Only Operation, but because a sizeable portion (13 pages) is concerned with the future of the Uckfield line we were interested to see what is recommended.


Gibb strongly favours early-electrification of the severely-restricted Uckfield branch, which was partially-singled by British Rail in 1990 in an attempt to save on track maintenance costs. Electrification would be AC overhead power supply as opposed to Southern England’s widespread DC third rail system. Without redoubling the route – which Gibb opposes – any increase in services will be impossible, whereby a maximum half-hourly peak service will remain in force, with only an hourly train at other times.


We were also surprised to see that to fund his electrification scheme Gibb recommends a 60% increase in annual season tickets on the route. However, in a very long debate in the House of Commons on 4 July, Wealden MP Nus Ghani declared: ‘I support Chris Gibb’s recommendation for electrification of the line and a depot in Crowborough’ whilst Lewes MP Maria Caulfield again called on the Government to back BML2.


Transport Minister Paul Maynard responded by telling MPs: ‘My hon. Friend the Member for Wealden (Ms Ghani) mentioned the Uckfield electrification. We are well aware of that project, and we are looking at it closely to ensure that we have the best possible business case. My hon. Friend the Member for Lewes referred to BML2, and I know that the Secretary of State has met with the group and is urging it to carry on its work.’


We understand the DfT has since broadly accepted Gibb’s recommendations, although it is difficult to see how they could fund electrification, having just contentiously cancelled three major UK schemes.


The railways in the South East are in a profound crisis and in urgent need of major improvements with new lines and links to supply the necessary additional capacity throughout the coming decades. Let us hope the Government gives its full backing to the private consortium’s study later this autumn.



Private sector leading the way on Brighton Main Line 2


The Daily Grind of London Commuters


The daily grind for millions of London and South East

commuters needs a multi-billion solution to transform

the grossly-overloaded network



The Labour Party’s recent manifesto boldly declared it would ‘build a new Brighton Main Line for the south-east’.


Industry journal Construction News said: ‘With passenger numbers only expected to increase, the need for solutions to the overcrowding on the Brighton Main Line will grow over this government and the next and whether under a Labour or Conservative government, through public or private money, built partially or completely, the construction of a new multi-billion-pound rail line in the South-east could be a likely solution.’


Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is currently awaiting private sector proposals to fund, build and deliver BML2 – which has been radically transformed to provide a fast tunnelled link between Croydon, Canary Wharf and Stratford.


Meetings between investors, legal experts and developers are continuing, whilst engineers and construction companies have come forward to offer their expertise. Detailed design work is anticipated to commence later this summer.


Meanwhile, Network Rail’s latest Kent Route Study says: ‘there are no clear or simple options to provide additional capacity into London.’ Cannon Street and Charing Cross are ‘effectively full’. However, room for five additional services into London is needed in the years ahead – but this cannot be accommodated.


This is why BML2’s Kent Phase is of such critical importance because it would provide four additional trains per hour into London and be the biggest boost imaginable to the network and the region.


As the United Kingdom stands on the threshold of a new era outside the EU and open to global markets, there has never been a better time for all concerned to come together – private investors, construction companies, the rail industry and politicians of all parties and get behind Brighton Main Line 2.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article