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The Ashford to Hastings line has reopened after major improvements

12 March 2012

The railway between Ashford and Hastings has reopened following a nine-week upgrade to provide more reliable journeys and take the first step towards potentially reducing journey times in the future.


The main element of the work focused on strengthening Ore tunnel, in addition to improving the drainage and repairing the lining inside to stop water seeping through.

To take full advantage of the line closure, our engineers also scheduled a wide range of other work to take place at the same time to reduce further disruption in the future. This included replacing old, noisy jointed track with smooth continuous rails through the tunnel as well as renewing:

  • ¾ mile of track between Rye and Winchelsea
  • around one mile of track between Ashford and Ham Street

We also:

  • Refurbished three sets of points to improve reliability
  • Replaced rail-over-road bridges at Doleham and Three Oaks
  • Surveyed and maintained an embankment between Ashford and Ham Street
  • Carried out maintenance work on 18 bridges and culverts between Ashford and Hastings
  • Improved the track so that the line speed can be increased in the future between Rye and Hastings

Maintenance workers using a laptop and walkie talkie