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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



Missing Link


A wasting asset closed in 1969 and just several miles in length –

the South’s most notorious ‘missing link’. 



Three developments have propelled BML2 forward.


Firstly, the Conservative’s intellectual Bow Group has published Reviving Britain’s Railways calling on Government to reverse 1960s rail closures and cites building Brighton Main Line 2.


Secondly, George Osborne has appointed Lord Adonis to head the Government’s National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). Two years ago Adonis proclaimed it was: “stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed” – adding: “The loss of Brighton's second main line via Uckfield and the direct London services it provided was a massive error of the 1960s. It needs to be reversed. Brighton Main Line 2, by reconnecting Brighton with London as one seamless journey, has the potential to do this”.


Thirdly, the Government has appointed WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to ‘evaluate the strategic case for investment in existing and new rail capacity along this corridor.’


Last week the BML2 Project Group gave a 90-minute presentation to the consultants showing how the Government’s aspiration for ‘entirely new or largely new lines between the South Coast and London, including concepts such as BML2’ could be delivered.


Phases for Sussex, Kent and London comprise BML2, expanding the national rail network for more train services in the South East. Gatwick and Stansted airports would gain direct, faster and increased connections through Canary Wharf, Stratford International and Crossrail. Building such fundamental infrastructure will secure both airports’ prosperity – especially if Heathrow receives a third runway.


We have a rail network struggling to manage demand; public clamour for more train services and better journeys; a private sector keen to invest in infrastructure; and a Chancellor keen to get Britain building again.


There’s never been a better time to start building BML2.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article


Hever Station


Shameful - the South East’s most notorious wasting asset.



Ahead of George Osborne’s commissioned investigation into BML2, Network Rail’s newly-published Sussex Study reveals BML2 would be the fastest alternative rail route to London.


Via BML2 would be 73 minutes (currently fastest 56/semi-fast 64 minutes), providing the quickest-possible second route.


Faster than reversing trains at Lewes by 20 minutes (with only an Uckfield–Lewes link), faster than building a ‘Lewes loop’, and infinitely faster than via Arundel.


But NR thinks the South East can wait another three decades for BML2.


Despite Sussex lines carrying more than 60,000 into London during the high peak, unlike Scotland, no new or re-opened lines are planned.


BML2’s diversionary capability is just a bonus – because it’s a hugely-useful new main line in its own right avoiding bottlenecks at East Croydon, London Bridge and Blackfriars.
Instead, Network Rail and the DfT intend over-cramming the Brighton Line. Today’s carriages typically carry 99 people, but the new Thameslink trains will have fewer seats and loads more standing room – carrying half as much again. But they will also be subject to the same old delays and cancellations.


It is also hoped to run trains every 150 seconds through the 2-track Thameslink core at Blackfriars/Farringdon which relies on trains north and south converging in the right sequence with no delays. Industry journal Rail Engineer aptly concluded: “Fingers crossed all round, I guess.”


Our inadequate rail system seriously damages the Sussex economy and London’s too. That‘s why the Chancellor’s intervention is so important because he recognises the immense value of BML2 and its Thameslink 2 aspect which has the greatest benefit, economic return, and usefulness after Crossrail.


George Osborne needs to be at the very heart of this because BML2 is as much about the economy as transport, and it is a project he needs to steer through with all possible speed.


For more detail CLICK HERE to read the full article





HM Treasury gives green light to Brighton Main Line 2 study

Yellow Aspects


Yellow aspects are now common on the Brighton Line
which increasingly has to bear more trains and traffic

between the Sussex Coast and London.

The south urgently needs the Government's green light for BML2.



Writing from HM Treasury, George Osborne says he is wholly committed to a full study into Brighton Main Line 2.


In a letter to Sussex MP Maria Caulfield (Lewes) which he asked to be forwarded to the BML2 Project Group, the Chancellor pointed out how vital effective transport links are to the economy.


“This means providing significant transport investment to places like the South Coast, where it is essential to have excellent connectivity between London and places like Lewes and Brighton.”


Recently at Westminster many concerned MPs, including Maria Caulfield, debated the lamentable performance of Southern and the overall crisis of insufficient capacity affecting routes in London and the South East.


Shadow Transport Minister Lilian Greenwood questioned Rail Minister Claire Perry over whether the Government was genuinely committed to investigating BML2, rather than just a 7-mile reopening between Uckfield and Lewes.


In a formal written response to Maria Caulfield MP the Chancellor was unequivocal:


“As you noted, I announced funding earlier this year towards a feasibility study for the re-opening of the Lewes–Uckfield line. However, I want to go further and take the opportunity to look at rail links in Sussex more generally, including the viability of a Brighton Main Line 2. Therefore, as part of the Summer Budget, I have announced the extension of the scope of the Lewes–Uckfield study to look at improving rail links between London and the south coast, including upgrades to existing routes, consideration of the Brighton Main Line corridor, and re-examination of the Department for Transport’s feasibility study on BML2.”


George Osborne has unquestionably shown he is his own man, whilst the fact that he, rather than the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin, has made this statement is exceptionally encouraging.  


As Chancellor, he more than anyone else, realizes the potential BML2 holds by giving the capital’s commercial heartland new horizons, as well as all rail-users new hope.


To continue and read the full article  CLICK HERE




Osborne promotes Brighton Main Line 2 Project

Uckfield Buffers


This closed main line from London to Lewes and Brighton should be growing traffic – not trees.


After January’s meeting with Rail Minister Claire Perry, George Osborne committed funding in his spring budget towards investigating BML2.


But, DfT officials thought a new study could be restricted to reopening only the Lewes–Uckfield section for local journeys; its usefulness during disruption on the BML and, if justified, the split between local and national funding.


This narrow focus would doom the project because it is one link in a very long chain. BML2 is not about huge public-purse spending to run a few more subsidised trains, but a business-minded strategy of opening-up specific strategic links to tap into guaranteed profitable markets.


Fearing what might happen if left to Network Rail, the issue was raised with the minister. Nusrat Ghani MP (Wealden) responded: “I’m pleased to let you know that Maria and I met with Claire Perry last week. She confirmed that the Department for Transport is beginning to scope a study into BML2, as per the Chancellor’s statement. (our emphasis)


In last Wednesday’s budget we were extremely pleased to read that George Osborne had acted swiftly and decisively in determining Government policy. Under the heading ‘Securing a truly national recovery’ the chancellor demonstrated he knows what he’s talking about:  


Brighton Main Line: The government will extend the scope of the Lewes–Uckfield study to look at improving rail links between London and the south coast, including upgrades to existing routes, consideration of the Brighton Main Line corridor, and re-examination of the DfT’s feasibility study on BML2.


This is a significant step forward because it shows that for the first time ever, the Government appears prepared to take BML2 seriously and is willing to listen and be convinced of its widespread merits.


To continue and read the full article  CLICK HERE