Latest 2018 BML2 Project Publication

Design2158 What BML2 will do for

Kent and Tunbridge wells

The 14pp report can be downloaded for viewing and printing by clicking on the image. Please circulate to friends and colleagues and if appropriate, to local Tunbridge Wells and Kent councillors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BML2 – will it ever happen? RAIL investigates!

 

 

Electrostars at Brighton Buffers

 

 “There is simply no room on the tracks to squeeze in more services.” – Paul Clifton


 

This week, the UK’s highly-successful journal RAIL features a major investigation into the Brighton Main Line 2 Project.


Paul Clifton, BBC South’s Transport Correspondent, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and for many years a leading contributor to Rail Professional has now joined Britain’s biggest-selling modern railways magazine.


His extensive six-page well-illustrated, in-depth feature is published on Wednesday 3 October. As Clifton says on RAIL’s website:


“The Brighton Main Line is pretty full. That much is obvious to any passenger who travels in the peak.


To train drivers, the evidence is even more glaring. Take a cab ride from Brighton at 0730, and you are unlikely to see even one green signal all the way to London. And for much of the journey, the train in front will be clearly visible. This is what a train jam looks like… and it is just as serious as the traffic jam on the parallel M23.


There is simply no room on the tracks to squeeze in more services. Once Thameslink’s delayed Siemens trains arrive, almost all services will have 12 carriages - the maximum length possible.


Modifying several junctions and fitting in-cab signalling could help slightly. But Network Rail believes it will merely delay the day when one of Britain’s most congested railway corridors reaches bursting point.


For 25 years Brian Hart has campaigned for the more-or-less parallel route through Uckfield to be reinstated as an alternative link between London and the South Coast. Now a branch line, it used to connect to Lewes. But the idea was squashed by a 2008 Network Rail report that said there was no viable business case.


Hart was deflated, but not defeated. With the route through East Sussex constrained by a lack of capacity closer to London, it was reinvented as a new scheme, with major changes north of East Croydon.


What Hart now proposes is far more grandiose - and far more costly… Brighton Main Line 2.”


Paul Clifton has interviewed Network Rail; Passenger Focus; the Campaign for Better Transport; and East Sussex County Council who speak about BML2 as well as the enormous problems confronting the south’s overburdened and overcrowded rail network.


However, whereas Lord Bassam of Brighton is backing the project for the enormous benefits it would bring – not only to the ever-popular City by the Sea, but to the whole South East – the Lewes MP and Transport Minister Norman Baker is scathingly critical about BML2.


Project Manager Brian Hart said: “Many people will be disappointed when they read about Norman Baker’s deep-seated opposition to people who live in the centre of East Sussex, Western Kent and Eastern Surrey enjoying the enormous benefits of having direct trains into Brighton. Similarly, he rules out a direct alternative line to London for the City of Brighton.”


We will comment further on the Lewes MP’s stance and people’s reaction once they have read Paul Clifton’s excellent analysis.