WIRES THROUGH THE WEALD

Chris Gibb’s report into the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise recommended electrification of the Uckfield line. We examine his proposals in detail

On a railway network dominated by third rail, the 25-mile-long Uckfield branch is a diesel island. Govia Thameslink Railway maintains a small fleet of 20 Class 171 DMUs, shared with the Ashford to Hastings Marshlink line and based at Selhurst depot. But could salvation be imminent for the Uckfield line, thanks to the report into the GTR franchise by Chris Gibb (p84, last month)?

Uckfield trains diverge from the Brighton main line just south of Croydon. Until Hurst Green tracks are shared with services to East Grinstead; this route was electrified under the DC third rail system in 1987. In 1990, due to the poor state of the track, 12 miles of the Uckfield branch was reduced to single track.

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