The Anonymous Widower

Kent On The Cusp Of Change – Longfield Station

The Kent On The Cusp Of Change article in the July 2017 Edition of Modern Railways has made me ask  questions about how services to various stations in Kent will be affected.

Longfield station is probably best described as a typically busy commuter station with three trains per hour (tph) for most of the day.

These pictures show the station.

This Google Map shows the layout of the station.

I had lunch with a friend whilst I was there and a problem he flagged up was that parking can be difficult, especially if you want to travel later n the day.

Parking At longfield Station

He said sometimes the only alternative to driving, is to cut across toEbbsfleet International station and put up with the higher prices of the Highspeed sewrvice.

Note how the car parking at Longfield station is all over the place.

The Price Of The High Speed Service

I have heard several complaints about the cost of the service into St. Pancras and I do wonder that if Victoria could be used as a second terminal, as I examined in Victoria As A Highspeed Terminal, that this could have the affect of bringing prices down.

Trains Through Longfield

I travelled out to Longfield in a 100 mph Class 377 train, but I travelled back in a 75 mph Class 466 train.

The former are just about fast enough, but the latter are too slow for a journey between ictoria and Dover or Ramsgate.

As I indicated in Track Improvements, Network Rail believe that the key to faster services is better signalling and faster trains.

The signalling problem is being addressed by the East Kent Re-Signalling Project, but new trains are needed that can operate at a higher speed on the lines in Kent.

Using a version of the Class 395 train is a possibility, but so is an entirely new train from another manufacturer. Having ridden in an Aventra and read the armours that the train can have a 125 mph capability, I’m sure Bombardier can come up with a Kent Coast Express.

Surely, more Class 395 trains must be the most likely, as six-car trains, working on most routes as 12-car units, is something that appears to work well for the current operator.

I think that the most likely scenario in future will be.

  • The stopping service currently run by 75 mph Class 466 trains will be run by 100 mph Class 377 trains.
  • The two semi-fast services will be run by new faster trains.
  • All services would be twelve-car trains.

As each service would be run by a faster train, there would be journey time savings.

Will Longfield Lose Any Of Its Three Trains Per Hour?

I think this is unlikely, as when this is tried, there is usually  a bitter row, that train operating companies try to avoid.

Will There Be Any Victoria to Thanet Services via Bromley South And High Speed One?

These services would take the following route from Victoria to Ashford International station.

  • Bromley South station
  • Fawkham Junction Link
  • Ebbsfleet International station
  • High Speed One

After Ashford, they could go to Dover, Hastings or Ramsgate.

There are two capacity constraints.

  • Between Victoria and Bromley South.
  • Between Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a fast service from Victoria to Thanet in the timetable.

It would be ideal, if a train to both Dover and Ramsgate were possible in an hour.

Conclusion

It is my view that Longfield station will not have an inferior service to the present time, when the new franchise is awarded.

But services will be different! And hopefully faster!

See Also

These are related posts.

To know more read Kent On The Cusp Of Change in the July 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

 

July 4, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , , ,

15 Comments »

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