A new direct Brighton to Ashford International service will link the city with destinations in Europe including Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
From the end of the year a new hourly Southern Trains express service will link with the Eurostar rail link to the continent. The journey from Brighton to Ashford will take 1 hour and 41 minutes and then the Eurostar leg to Paris will take a little less than two hours.
Currently the journey to Ashford can take up to three hours which deters passengers from using the train as the preferred means of transport.
Allowing for check in times at Gatwick, which are now two hours in advance of the flight time, and journey time between airports and city centres this means that the train service compares favourably with the time taken to go by plane.
A big plus for the train service is that it is environmentally more sustainable than air travel producing 8 times less carbon dioxide per passenger.
Meanwhile plans for a staggering two hour service between London and Edinburgh took a step forward with the announcement that a consortium called Ultraspeed UK has published plans for a £30bn Maglev train line, which would snake its way across the Pennines shadowing the route of the M62.
Maglev trains use electromagnetism to hover over a single rail line thus producing virtually frictionless travel and speeds of up to 300 mph.
The success of the world’s first Maglev system is in Shanghai has helped give the concept a degree of commercial confidence that it previously lacked. The idea fits in well with the call in the Labour Party manifesto for new north/south transport links.
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP COMMENT
The BHEP has been engaged with Southern over the past two years lobbying for better east/west transport links, the need for which is highlighted in the new economic strategy.
This direct, fast service is excellent news for the city and the wider area and will be a boon to business and leisure travellers alike. Cutting out the need to travel to Waterloo to make a connection makes the prospect of travelling by train to Europe much more appealing.
Read related items on: