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Maidstone affected as Southeastern closes fifty train stations as snow and ice continues

By William Janes

Southeastern Railway has closed fifty railway stations in Kent as three entire lines shut down because of snow.

Despite a warning from the rail network on social media last night, many commuters arrived at Maidstone West to discover the Medway Valley Line had been closed from Paddock Wood to Strood.

Southeastern said, along with the Medway Valley line, the Sheerness line, connecting the Isle of Sheppey to the mainland, and the coastal line via Deal are also running no service.

Maidstone West was just one of 50 stations closed across the county.
Maidstone West was just one of 50 stations closed across the county.

On the Maidstone East line, one train will run per hour, calling at Bromley South, St Mary Cray, Swanley, Otford, Borough Green & Wrotham, West Malling, Maidstone East, Bearsted, Lenham and Ashford.

Trains on this line will not stop at Barming, Kemsing, East Malling, Barming, Hollingbourne, Harrietsham or Charing.

At one of the stations affected by line closures, Maidstone West, customers arriving to make their journeys were surprised and disappointed to learn about the closures from a poster on the station door.

Ian George, 65, from Lenham said: “I thought that they would be running a service; a lot of people catch the train. If I catch the bus I have then got to walk quarter of an hour to my office compared with about five minutes from the train station.”

Customers arrived to find that closures were posted on the station door
Customers arrived to find that closures were posted on the station door

Nikki from Sittingbourne said: It’s very inconveniencing for me because my husband dropped me off from Sittingbourne and I’m going to Tunbridge Wells so I’m stuck in between now.”

Although travelers were left to re-plan their routes, some were sympathetic with the rail operator.

Luke Snazel, 19, from Maidstone said: “I don’t blame South Eastern; it’s the adverse weather conditions. They do the best they can, I’m sure, but sometimes that just isn’t enough.”

Three lines have been closed
Three lines have been closed

Southeastern have issued advice to customers as the bad weather continues.

Last night, a railway spokesperson said: “The weather forecast is for continuing snowfall and icy conditions across the south east overnight and into Thursday.

"We're advising our passengers, if they can, to work from home or postpone their journey, and if they do decide to make their journey, to allow themselves extra time and make sure you check before they travel using the Southeastern website, National Rail Enquiries, the free On Track app, or by following @Se_Railway for live Twitter updates”.

The Medway Valley line is running no service due to weather conditions.
The Medway Valley line is running no service due to weather conditions.

“As on Wednesday, we’ll be doubling the Delay Repay compensation on Thursday for any customers who may be affected by disruption – more details are available on our website.”

Tune in kmfm for more travel updates.

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