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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


Stand up for Sussex – not on its trains

Wasting Assets


Rebuilding Sussex’s other London – Brighton main line is long overdue.



Conditions for Sussex rail travellers will worsen, whilst Network Rail’s 30-year plan will stifle economic growth.


Elsewhere Network Rail is spending millions on re-doubling and electrification; politicians promise HS2 and HS3 – but the UK’s most congested network in Sussex won’t be expanded.


East Croydon deals with more trains than Reading, Manchester, Edinburgh, Paddington, Euston or King’s Cross. But truly effective solutions are absent.


DfT Minister Baroness Kramer said: “We have asked Network Rail to consider options for improving capacity on this key corridor including the role that the Brighton Main Line 2 proposals could make.”


Transport Minister Stephen Hammond also suggested “elements of the wide ranging proposals, collectively known as Brighton Main Line 2” would be considered.


But NR has ignored it and instead proposes cramming the Brighton Line with more trains, encouraging more railheading, more overcrowding and more standing.


Brighton comes off worst of all. No new rail connections across Sussex, Kent and Surrey, no alternative route to London, whilst the seaside city’s commuters can fight for a seat with all those forced onto their line.


NR says reviving Brighton’s former second main line via Uckfield requires redoubling (12 miles) and electrification. Ignoring BML2 completely, which would run directly into the city via Falmer, they mention only an inferior Uckfield-Lewes connection after 2043.
The DfT has slashed standing room allowance on Govia Thameslink Railway’s new Thameslink trains from two to four people per square metre. So much for GTR chief’s claim about “more comfortable to stand up in”.


Only last year Lord Adonis said it was: “stark staring obvious that the second mainline to London is needed”.


But NR has no ambition and seems incapable comprehending what Sussex desperately needs.
This isn’t good enough. It’s time to stand up for Sussex – not on its trains.



To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE


Our full 4-page response to Network Rail’s Draft Sussex Area Route Study can be downloaded here.


Tunnel vision over £3bn Bakerloo extension?

Elmers End


Elmers End: Should this remain a dead-end branch to Hayes?

Heading straight on (as it used to) this route must become a new main line from London’s business heartland at Canary Wharf running direct to Gatwick and the Sussex Coast as part of Thameslink 2.

Controversy surrounds the £3bn Bakerloo extension to Hayes in Kent. Boris Johnson calls it a “top priority” but thousands of Southeastern’s commuters could find their Charing Cross/Cannon Street trains replaced by tube services to Waterloo.


And ‘Brighton Main Line 2’ needs this valuable rail corridor between south Croydon and Lewisham to introduce ‘Thameslink 2’ for greater regional and cross-capital connections.


Suburban, or underground, lines running alongside a new main line can be accommodated.


A North London Borough already appreciates ‘Thameslink 2’, one observer even suggesting it would be “easier to deliver” than the Government’s controversial HS2 “– and with more tangible economic gains!”


Thameslink 2 would directly link Gatwick and Stansted airports through Canary Wharf and East London. In its formal response they say:


‘NEW REGIONAL NETWORK RAIL LINE – Promote the new Thameslink 2 ‘Stanwick’ regional line proposal that links Brighton and Gatwick with Stansted airport via Isle of Dogs (Canary Wharf) and the Lower Lea Valley.  This will provide higher capacity on the network and directly link the Canary Wharf metropolitan employment centre with the South-East region.’


With media already talking about a Thameslink ‘Blackfriars bottleneck’ – even BEFORE the Thameslink 2018 Programme is complete and operational – action on Thameslink 2 is essential.


Millions of southern rail-users are feeling aggrieved, exasperated, angry, ignored and simply taken for granted and wondering just where are the powerful voices in Parliament who will speak up for this region.


This enduring mess of a rail network needs to be sorted out and BML2, alongside Thameslink 2, should be getting the serious attention from Government it truly deserves.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

Brighton Main Line 2 may be included says Minister as politicians clash over project

Brighton 82360


More track and trains are needed between the South Coast and London


Support for BML2 is being voiced among some Conservatives.


The Transport Minister told Brighton MP Simon Kirby that next year “a range of potential options for investment, some of which may include elements of the wide ranging proposals, collectively known as Brighton Main Line 2” will be considered.


Simon Kirby said: “The Brighton Line is at capacity and a long-term solution is needed. There is a strong argument for us getting a second line, not only to solve problems of capacity, but also robustness”.  


Conservative candidates Nusrat Ghani (Wealden) and Maria Caulfield (Lewes) have also spoken in support, followed by a longer feature on ITV’s Meridian News, explaining how BML2 would reintroduce Brighton’s second main line.


However, Lib Dem Lewes MP Norman Baker remains opposed, telling Meridian viewers: “I’m all in favour of reopening railway lines; in fact I did some when I was Minister of Transport in the Department for Transport and I want to see extensions to the railway network. But we have to be practical as to what’s achievable. Lewes to Uckfield in my view is achievable, but BML2 practically – whether it’s desirable or not – is not achievable.”


Previous schemes over 45 years have all been rejected as “Lewes would constrain through-running to Brighton” because the volume of additional trains to make it viable would not be possible.


Network Rail’s 2008 study showed reopening just Lewes–Uckfield, as proposed by Norman Baker, would not benefit the Brighton Line. Electrification, redoubling and direct running between London and Brighton is critical – as proposed by BML2.


So much could have been achieved since 2010 had Norman Baker, when he was Transport Minister, put his narrow personal ambition to one side and instead worked jointly with neighbouring MPs and councils who support BML2.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE

Department for Transport and Network Rail are crippling the South

Department for Transport and Network Rail are crippling the South


Trains are more popular than ever but the region cannot cope without an expanded system.


The Government claims HS2 (and now HS3) are vital for growth, but won’t sort out the south’s blockades.


Recently the DfT told Edenbridge Council: “Large-scale investment in alternative routes in the outer area of the Brighton Main Line would likely be of very limited value in the short to medium-term – this finding is applicable to the re-instatement of the Lewes-Uckfield line.”


One angry councillor accused them of persistently ignoring the south’s longstanding problems, saying: “this has been going on for well over 25 years”.


Network Rail said: “We have asked for the trackbed of the route to be protected as we agree the route will be needed in future. However, there are more pressing needs on the Brighton Main Line, because the capacity squeeze is more acute at the London end of the route. Were we to create space for more trains at the coastal end of the line now, we would just be pouring more water into a blocked sink.”


In fact, the BML is one ‘blocked sink’ all the way to Brighton.


An equally exasperated Uckfield commuter asked the DfT why Network Rail: “offers no forward strategic planning in respect of the continuing growing use of the rail network in the South East”.


He added: “Sussex remains particularly poorly served with effectively only one coastal commuter line to London running through it – the BML – to which everyone railheads. The Uckfield line strategically has no function in its present truncated form beyond serving local towns.  It is chronically underused in terms of train paths”


Restoring Brighton’s second main line via Uckfield is needed and he added: “for want of just a few miles of track” the vast conurbations of Tunbridge Wells and Brighton could also be connected, benefiting millions – a view recently voiced by Cabinet Minister and Tunbridge Wells MP Greg Clark.


The DfT responded: “The Department agrees with your view that the findings of the [forthcoming south coast] report need to be considered in the wider regional context”


The south’s inadequate rail network has a negative impact on its economy. Political pressure is needed at the highest level.



To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE