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Southeastern trains to carry on running for three and a half years

The Government announced today that Southeastern will continue to run trains in Kent and East Sussex. Some travellers have expressed surprise at the decision - and even the Rail Minister herself who made the announcement, admitted the company had failed its customers too often in the past.

But that IS the past the company insisted. And today Southeastern promised big improvements, with more services, more high speed trains, and better stations.

Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Rail Minister Claire Perry, Hastings & Rye MP Amber Rudd, and Ashford MP Damian Green.

Southeastern warns further disruption between Hastings and London

...but it's going to continue further Credit: ITV Meridian

A railway line linking the East Sussex coast, Kent and London will now not reopen fully on Monday, after disruption following several landslips.

Network Rail had expected the line between Hastings and London to be fully open on Monday, although running a reduced timetable.

Network Rail making repairs Credit: ITV Meridian

But Southeastern is advising customers that it is NOT able to run a full train service tomorrow as Network Rail continue repairs.

A shuttle train service will run between

Hastings and Battle

and between Robertsbridge and London.

A bus replacement service will operate between Battle and Robertsbridge.

Changes to Southeastern services this December

A new timetable for Southeastern trains will begin this Sunday 8th December.

The new timetable includes minor changes to improve connection times and punctuality.

Timetables are now available from all manned stations or from the Southeastern website: (

We run more trains into London in the peak hour than any other national rail operator – our network is one of the busiest and most complex in the UK, and we’re constantly looking at how we can further improve people’s journeys. The bulk of the changes apply to the Sunday service and we’ll be running a couple of additional services including some later trains home in the evenings.

We encourage all our passengers to check for changes to their train times by picking up a new timetable from our stations, from our website or National Rail Enquiries

– Alison Nolan, a spokesperson for Southeastern


Mary Portas welcomes rail fares

This promotion sums up the spirit of the Portas Pilots. Everyone playing their part to bring the buzz back to our town centres. Get on board and find out what all the fuss is about."

– Mary Portas

"Margate is one of Mary Portas' Pilot Towns and Southeastern is pleased to support the initiative. Since we launched the high speed service in 2009, we've seen passenger numbers from London to Margate increase by around 60 percent. We've also seen a boost in numbers following the opening of the Turner Contemporary and the town is very popular in the summer, but we see less passengers travelling in the winter months.

– Charles Horton, Southeastern's Managing Director

Details of rail fare discounts

  • The £10 Portas Pilot ticket is less than a third of a regular off-peak day return from London to Margate (£31.10)
  • The Portas Pilot ticket will be available from the first weekend in November and will run through to the end of February 2013.
  • The ticket will be sold online only from the Southeastern website and is valid for travel on high speed, metro and mainline services from London to Margate, return.
  • 500 Portas Pilot tickets will be available each weekend, sold on a first come, first served basis.
  • Southeastern's Kids for a Quid offer is also available to be used with this ticket, where children can travel with an adult for £1.00.
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