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Network Rail proposes new train line between Ashford and Faversham

By Bess Browning

A brand new train line could be built between Faversham and Ashford.

As Network Rail published its 30 year plan, it has been revealed that one of their long term proposals includes a link between the two towns.

This means that rather than travelling from Faversham to Canterbury West to get to Ashford, passengers will have a direct link to the station, which also offers the Eurostar service.

The hike covers season tickets, as well as anytime, off peak and super off peak day tickets
The hike covers season tickets, as well as anytime, off peak and super off peak day tickets

Network Rail have published a draft strategy for the next 30 years and launched a survey to gauge opinion on how they should grow their service.

They say that passenger numbers travelling between Kent and London is forecast to rise by 47% by 2044.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “The plan for a new line between Faversham and Ashford is driven by the poor road links between the two towns and the fact that for historical reasons there are poor rail links between north Kent and south Kent.

“The road between Faversham and Ashford is very busy at peak times, narrow, slow and subject to traffic jams at the Ashford end.

“It’s a similar case with the proposed link from Ebbsfleet to Bromley – improving the links between north and south in a county that has historically been orientated west/east.

“There is no cost involved out at the moment as it is so far in the future.”

Faversham railway station.
Faversham railway station.

A three-month consultation period is now open to allow members of the public and stakeholders, including local authorities and businesses, to have their say.

The Faversham to Ashford proposal comes under Network Rail’s long-term plans.

But by 2024, the rail bosses hope to lengthen the high speed and Kent commuter peak time trains to 12 cars, extend platforms at a number of London stations, increase capacity at Cannon Street and install new signalling systems and traffic management technology.

Network Rail’s route managing director for the South East John Halsall said: “A bigger, better and more reliable railway is absolutely vital to support jobs housing and economic growth in Kent and south east London in the decades ahead.

Ashford railway station
Ashford railway station

“Our plan sets out how we will cater for forecast passenger growth up to the mid-2020s, primarily through longer trains at the busiest times of day.

“Beyond that, we need to look at more radical options to enable more frequent services and changing service patterns across the region.

“By working closely together with operators and potential funders, we can keep passengers moving well into the future.”

To find out more about the survey, click here to visit Network Rail's website.

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