Bexhill Hastings high speed rail

Network Rail is undertaking a study to look at options for improving rail connectivity to the Kent and East Sussex coast. This includes considering options that enable high-speed trains to run along the East Coastway between Ashford and Eastbourne, calling at Rye, Hastings, St Leonards Warrior Square and Bexhill.

The work, jointly funded by the Department for Transport and East Sussex County Council, will be completed by the end of March 2021. This will result in the submission of a strategic outline business case and funding request to progress to the next development stage to government.

Previous Study Work

This Rail Connectivity Study will be informed by previous design work undertaken by Network Rail in 2019 to enable trains to run between the existing high-speed rail link and the Marshlink. The purpose of this work was to develop preliminary designs for the Ashford West junction and Ashford International station, as well as a timetable study for the Marshlink line.

Other previous study work includes a refresh of the 2015 economic study undertaken in 2017 to support the case for high-speed rail into East Sussex. The initial findings were presented at the Hastings Rail Summit on 6 October 2017.

Rail Summit Presentation - Oct 2017 [803.8 KB] [pdf]

Executive Summary–Oct 2017 [455.6 KB] [pdf]

A study commissioned by the Hastings Rother Taskforce in October 2014 managed jointly by East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council and Rother District Council, was undertaken to consider the economic case and regenerative case for running high-speed rail services to:

  • Bexhill
  • Hastings
  • Rye

The report was made publicly available on 9 October 2015 and its outcomes fed into Network Rail’s Kent Route Study [9.2 MB] [pdf] process.