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Kent rail station undergoes £147m revamp

Rochester's rail station will be slid almost 40 metres into the air Credit: Network Rail

Rochester train station will be lifted into the air this Easter as part of a £147m scheme to improve the railway line.

The underpass that will be created will provide a public link between Corporation Street, Rochester and river Medway as well as the station's platforms.

Network Rail’s head of communications for London and the South East, Nicky Hughes, said: “The work we are doing at Rochester will result in a fantastic new station and a more reliable railway – however we also realise that the disruption will not be welcome for passengers travelling over Easter.

"We have to do the work when the railway is less busy, and Easter gives us four full days and nights where we can undertake big engineering projects while affecting the least passengers."

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Rail repairs after landslip will cost £5m

Botley
The landslip at Botley in Hampshire Credit: Meridian

Work to fully repair the biggest ever landslip in Britain, caused by the recent storms, will cost a total of £5 million. The train line at Botley in Hampshire reopened at the weekend.

Eighty metres of embankment collapsed causing a month of disruption for commuters in Winchester, Basingstoke, Farnborough and Basingstoke.

HS2 fares need to be set 'at the right level'

There have been concerns that premium fares will be charged for those using the new high-speed line whose first phase, from London to Birmingham, is due to open in 2026.

Passengers travelling on domestic services using HS1, the 186mph Channel Tunnel fast link, pay much higher fares than those using "conventional" Kent commuter services.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said "setting fares at the right level" was one of its five key priorities for HS2.

Legislation for the first phase is currently going through Parliament, with a second, Y-shaped, phase, taking the line to north west and north east England due to be completed around 2032/33.

Rail company compensates commuters after flooding

Station
A typical scene during the floods in the Thames Valley. Credit: Guy Phillips

Thousands of rail commuters in the Thames Valley will be given five days' compensation for the recent chaos caused by flooding, ITV Meridian can reveal. Under government rules bad weather is usually exempt from compensation payments.

However, First Great Western say 'it is only fair' after a period when so many services were cancelled. Flooding at Maidenhead meant lines were closed which hit services into Paddington.

The compensation will be paid to season ticket holders when they renew tickets or they will be able to have a cash payment.

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First Capital Connect gets contract extension

In a deal announced by the Government today, First Capital Connect (FCC) will continue its franchise until September when a new Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN) franchise will start.

Yesterday, a Which? table placed FCC 17th out of 19 train companies for passenger satisfaction, with FCC also scoring the equal-last number of points for train cleanliness.

The new deal for FCC covers services between London, Bedford, Brighton and Kings Lynn.

Starting in September, TSGN will be the largest franchise on the network and will take in the £6.5 billion Thameslink improvement programme which includes new electric trains.

The new contract with FCC represents the best deal for passengers and taxpayers. It ensures the continuity of the existing service and guarantees the completion of the ongoing Thameslink Programme."

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin

Signal failure causes Thames Valley disruption

Rail services in the Thames Valley were badly disrupted again tonight because of another signal failure caused by flooding at Maidenhead. Dozens of services have been cancelled or delayed.

First Great Western say the issue which started at around 5pm has now just been resolved but delays will continue for the rest of the evening. Around half of all trains were cancelled or delayed during the rush hour.

It comes as Network Rail warn passengers delays could continue for two months because of rising water levels.

Buses replace trains between Romsey and Eastleigh

Buses have replaced trains between Romsey and Eastleigh due to a fallen tree.

The tree is blocking the line between Romsey and Chandlers Ford.

Replacement road transport services are conveying passengers between Eastleigh and Romsey in both directions until further notice.

Buses are departing Eastleigh at 10 past the hour each hour and Romsey on the hour, every hour.

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