15 SEP 2010

MP steams ahead on faster trains

Today I met with local rail chiefs, Mike Smith of Network Rail and Mike Gibson of South East Trains at Deal Railway Station to discuss bringing faster trains for Deal and Sandwich.  I know, both from my constituent mailbag and my own personal experience the problems with long connections at Dover and Ramsgate for travellers to Deal, Sandwich and local villages.

They agreed to see if connections at Dover and Ramsgate could be improved. They also agreed to provide costings on the high speed train stopping as it passes through Deal and to provide numbers on a full services.

It takes far too long to travel to Deal and the villages. Faster connections would make a huge difference. Like everyone else in Deal, I want to see the fast train stop as it passes through.

I am very grateful to Network Rail and South East Trains for agreeing to review connections. And for providing me with costings so I can make our case to the Rail Minister. I do not want anyone to get their hopes up yet - this is going to take time. Yet I am cautiously optimistic.

3 comments

Network Rail have already said no improvements are needed to allow Highspeed trains to stop at Deal so what costings could arise? Southeastern should be told to stop the trains at Deal from the Department of Transport, this has been dragging on far too long. As Deal's MP you should be taking decisive action with the rail minister.
- John

The normal trains from Dover to Deal have been terrible for over 3 weeks - if you look at Southeasterns own figures they have operated evening services below 50% punctuality, absolutely diaboliqual! There was real discontent the other night when passengers waited over 50 minutes for a train while an empty highspeed train went ont and through Deal on time.
- Sam

Perhaps if you had gone to the rail summit and supported trains4deal that would have helped! I couldn't get to work last week during the snow as the only trains running through Deal station were highspeed but they didn't stop. They did stop at Sandling and Westenhanger during the emergency timetable - maybe their MP is a bit more proactive....
- Claire

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Charlie Elphicke

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