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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


Network Rail yet again dismisses ‘Lewes-Uckfield’ but will consider BML2



Work on introducing a long-overdue new main line between London and the South Coast needs to start straightaway


A Network Rail ‘Pre-Route Study’ on the Brighton Main Line has dismissed reopening a Lewes – Uckfield connection.


The BML2 Project which proposes major investment and a new direct line into Brighton is not currently being investigated.


NR says the BML is already operating at full capacity whilst East Croydon struggles with more trains per day than Reading, Paddington, Euston and Kings Cross.


More capacity into London is desperately needed, but route, junction and terminus constraints lead NR to again mention a new 15 mile tunnelled railway under Surrey into the capital.


Rising demand on the BML and Gatwick expansion will exacerbate the problem.


Although NR wants “continued protection of the alignment” saying “the logic for this remains sound” it rejects an incremental ‘Lewes – Uckfield’ reopening favoured by Lewes MP Norman Baker and RailFuture“The 2008 study indicated this approach did not have a business case.”


“Significant upgrade costs” incurring electrification, redoubling 12 miles and resignalling would be required on the Uckfield line – as proposed by the BML2 Project. NR says without this and direct trains into Brighton, it would have no value as a secondary route.


It warns a 78-mile London – Brighton diversionary route via Arundel would add a 50 minute penalty to the journey.


Clearly, a new main line is required so we are pleased that Transport Minister Baroness Kramer has subsequently stated: “The Government recognises the importance of rail links between London and the South Coast. As such, 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.”



To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE


Baroness Kramer joins latest Lib Dem attack on Brighton Main Line 2

Baroness Kramer and John Jefkins

In their latest attack on BML2 by Croydon LibDems, she took possession of petition slips saying: “Lib Dems in government are investing £38 billion in rail in the next five years, including upgrades to the existing Brighton mainline – without damaging Tramlink.”


The Lib Dems latest misleading tactic is “opposing any new ‘BML2’ rail line through Croham that would rip up Tramlink from Lloyd Park to Elmers End.”


In fact BML2 proposes extending Tramlink and making it even more accessible.  


Local LibDem activist John Jefkins says he wants to: “raise awareness of the Brighton Mainline 2 project” and telling the press: “No one knows this is on the cards”.


Jefkins said: “It’s bonkers, basically. It has no proper business case. I’m dubbing it a line to nowhere. They may as well build it out to sea because it misses Gatwick, East Croydon and central London.”


In reality BML2 serves all these places, bringing much-needed flexibility and new destinations to the South’s rail network.


Nevertheless, the Lib Dems clearly view the capital’s global financial centre at Canary Wharf and Stratford International as “nowhere”.


Instead, the Lib Dems suggest “extra platforms at East Croydon”. But Baroness Kramer’s own departmental officials would have told her: “There is no further scope within the railway network’s existing footprint”.

Kramer’s predecessor, Norman Baker, a keen advocate of HS2, spent his long term at the DfT by campaigning against BML2 which runs through his Sussex constituency, claiming: “It would be very, very expensive, it would also be very controversial – and the last thing we want is a controversial line.”
Re-opening disused railways and exploiting existing assets should be supported by any so-called ‘environmentally-conscious’ politician.


Those who actively seek to deny millions a superbly upgraded and expanded network capable of daily transporting thousands of people don’t deserve to be entrusted with such power.



To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE



Ministerial backing for Brighton Main Line 2


Tunbridge Wells West Station


The magnificent and spacious Tunbridge Wells station built by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway Company whose main lines connected the Royal Borough to both London and Brighton. But it was systematically run-down in the 1960s and eventually closed by British Rail in 1985. As part of BML2 it would be reopened as a premier commuter station with direct trains to Canary Wharf, the City and Brighton and bring about the regeneration of the nearby Pantiles area of Tunbridge Wells.



Minister of State for Cabinet Office (Cities and Constitution) and Tunbridge Wells MP is backing BML2.


His office says:  ‘Greg Clark is a strong supporter of the BML2 campaign’ adding: ‘He has recently written to the Rail Minister, Stephen Hammond, to highlight the benefits that a link from Tunbridge Wells to Brighton Main Line 2 would bring to his constituents.’


Greg Clark said: ‘The transport network in my constituency is already severely overcrowded so a new link from Tunbridge Wells to Brighton, Eastbourne and London would be a great boon.’


He explained: ‘The Rail Minister has asked Network Rail to carry out a review on how to increase rail capacity between London and the Sussex coast so I wanted to ensure that he was made aware of the considerable benefits this proposal would have for local rail passengers.’


As Minister for Cities, Greg Clark was in Brighton recently where he signed off the ‘Greater Brighton City Deal’ expected to attract £170m of investment and 8,500 new jobs. He said: ‘It can help turn Brighton into one of the most prosperous cities in the UK.’


Greg’s support will be warmly received by Brighton & Hove City Council which last year gave wholehearted support for BML2.


In another significant move his office told us: ‘Greg has also asked the Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council to support the BML2 scheme in their forthcoming Transport Strategy.’


Cheer will be felt across the region by those wanting an integrated rail network once more. Uckfield’s Mayor, Cllr Ian Smith, said: ‘This is a tremendous boost for all of us here in East Sussex. For us it is just as vital as BML2’s direct link into the City of Brighton.’


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE



Time to rebuild the South East’s rail network

Tonbridge Failure


The South east needs a larger and more resilient network.



The weather has wreaked havoc this winter, exposing the vulnerability of an inadequate system.


Shortly, Network Rail will publish its draft report on running more trains between Sussex and London. As overcrowding worsens, the Government’s response is reduced seating and more standing capacity on the Brighton Line. Not so the West Coast Main Line where £50billion is earmarked for HS2. With Sussex and Kent’s main arteries at full capacity, politicians must speak up.


We need a far more robust and comprehensive network as our new London & South Coast Appraisal explains. 


Network Rail and the DfT must look beyond piecemeal enhancements and consider London’s pressing need for new cross-Thames connections. BML2 can connect two of its three hub airports as one joint integrated operation with the capital’s global financial centre at Canary Wharf.


Stratford International would also be served, linking together counties on either side of the Thames divide, paving the way for Thameslink 2 and relieving the pressure forecast at Farringdon.


BML2 is not about speed or substituting HS2, but it’s just as important as the London & South Coast Appraisal shows.


Public tolerance has been tested to the extreme this winter, but the underlying problems facing the south’s network won’t subside with the floodwaters.


To continue and read the full article CLICK HERE