Marshlink Line

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Marshlink Line
Principal stations

Ashford International
Ham Street

Three Oaks
(for Hastings Line
and East Coastway Line)

The Marshlink Line is the name given to services on the railway line linking Ashford with Hastings. The line was part of an original proposal by a company named the Brighton, Lewes and Hastings Company to extend its coast route to Hastings. The South Eastern Railway eventually built the line, thereby renewing a local rivalry between itself and the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway; the line was opened on 13 February 1851. Recommended for closure by Dr. Beeching in 1963, the route has survived various attempts to axe services completely, and stations remained unmodernised and gaslit well into the the 1970s. Services for certain stations on the line have now been reduced to an absolute minimum.

The line is single tracked between Appledore and Ore. Trains can pass each other at Rye station, which is double tracked. Several stations have staggered platforms: passengers cross the line from the end of one platform to the end of the other, thus avoiding a footbridge.

The line is not electrified, with the exception of Hastings to Ore. This small section was electrifed to provide for carriage sidings (there was no space at Hastings), as part of the East Coastway electrification of July 1935[1].

Description of route

The towns on the route are listed below.

Passenger services

Passenger services are operated by Southern, as part of its East Coastway services. The line is no longer a separate part of the network. Trains run hourly between Ashford and Brighton, stopping only at Ham Street and Rye on the Marshlink Line. Ore has separate hourly trains to Brighton. All other stations are served by occasional local services.

Before December 2005, there was one train per hour in each direction between Hastings and Ashford, stopping at every station.

Rolling stock

This line is one of the few in South-East England not to be electrified. Consequently, services are operated using Class 171 "Turbostar" diesel multiple units. These replaced the elderly Class 205 and Class 207 units in mid-2004. When Class 171 units are not available a class 201 diesel-electric unit (1001) owned by Hastings Diesels Ltd stands in. This unit will be fitted with Central Door Locking so it can continue running services.


  1. Electric Railways. 'Stendec Systems' (2007). Retrieved on 2007-02-01.

External links

Railway lines in South-East England:
Main lines:   Arun Valley Line   Ashford via Maidstone East Line   Ashford-Ramsgate via Canterbury Line   Brighton Main Line   Chatham Main Line   East Coastway   Hastings Line   Channel Tunnel Rail Link   Kent Coast Line   London–Ashford–Dover Line   North Downs Line   Portsmouth Direct Line   South Western Main Line   Thameslink   West Coastway   West of England Main Line
Commuter lines:   Alton Line   Ascot-Guildford Line   Bexleyheath Line   Caterham Line   Catford Loop   Chessington Branch   Dartford Loop   Eastleigh-Fareham Line   Eastleigh-Romsey Line   Greenwich Line   Hayes Line   Hounslow Loop   Mid-Kent Line   New Guildford Line   North Kent Line   Oxted Line   Sheerness Line   Slough-Windsor & Eton Line   South London Line   Staines-Windsor & Eton Line   Staines to Weybridge Line   Sutton Mole Valley Line   Tattenham Corner Line   Waterloo-Reading Line   West London Line
Rural lines:   Brockenhurst-Lymington Line   Henley Branch Line   Island Line   Marlow Branch Line   Marshlink Line   Medway Valley Line   Redhill-Tonbridge Line