May start for fast train times to London – and new service from Ore too.

Hastings Borough Council (HBC) has welcomed the unveiling of Southern Rail’s new May timetable.

From 20 May, Southern will be running four trains an hour between Hastings and Eastbourne, up from the current three, and doubling the length of most trains between Hastings and Brighton, from two carriages to four.

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There will also be a regular service between Ore and Ashford for the first time in many years, better evening services, and better connections between Marshlink and HS1 trains at Ashford, bringing the Hastings-London St Pancras International journey time down to just 90 minutes, saving around ten minutes.

Council leader Peter Chowney is “delighted” by Southern’s new plans, he says: “This is a great timetable for local residents and visitors to Hastings, and we are very grateful to Southern for listening to our comments when they consulted us on their new plans. We hope this is a precursor to even faster journey times if we can get high speed trains running through Hastings from St Pancras.”

Phil Hutchinson, Head of Strategic Planning for Govia Thameslink Railway which runs Southern, led a 16-month consultation on the changes as part of a complete re-write of the Southern timetable, which is the biggest consultation ever undertaken in the rail industry.

Phil said: “These changes are being delivered as part of our RailPlan 20/20 modernisation plans to modernise services, improve reliability and boost capacity across out network, which is the most congested in the UK.

“By consulting openly and extensively with councils, passenger groups and other local representatives, we have been able to listen to concerns and create a vastly improved train service that will be a real boost to the local economy.”

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