11 Jan 2010

Where rail investment ought to be going

Missing link
This is Ford Junction, Sussex. For want of the short section of route shown as a dotted red line, when the Brighton main line is closed, trains are diverted and have to run into Littlehampton and out again, reversing at the terminal. If this line was put in, the diverted trains would be at least 20 minutes quicker.

This is just one of a long list of railway improvements that could be made at relatively low cost in just this area. Others urgently needed or worth considering include
  • Restoration of the direct line from Brighton to Hastings at Polegate.
  • Doubling and possible electrification between Ashford and Hastings
  • Reinstatement between Uckfield and Lewes
  • Electrification between Hurst Green and Lewes
  • Reinstatement between Shoreham and Horsham
  • Reinstatement between Horsham and Guildford
  • Reinstatement between Havant and Hayling Island
  • Completion of quadruple track between Three Bridges and Brighton
  • Completion of electrification between Tonbridge and Reading
  • Construction of flyover at Redhill, with high level platforms and passenger interchange
  • Reinstatement of double track to standard loading gauge between Hastings and Tunbridge Wells
  • Reinstatement and possible electrification between Three Bridges and Tunbridge Wells
No doubt similar lists could be drawn up across the whole of Britain. They would not take decades to implement and would bring immediate benefit. But they will be squeezed out by the big, sexy prestige project.

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