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High speed service

Date: 08 Oct 2008

From December 2009 there will be:

Two trains an hour to North Kent:
- calling at Stratford, Ebbsfleet, Gravesend, Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, Sittingbourne and Faversham

Two trains an hour to East Kent:
- one calling at Stratford, Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Canterbury West, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate,
- one calling at Stratford Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Folkestone West, Folkestone Central and Dover.

The North Kent trains go to Faversham rather than terminating at Sittingbourne and they will not call at Higham. The East Kent trains don't call at Sandling, Wye, Sturry or Minster.

The new timetable will mean that the high speed service will have :

  • Good connections at Strood - to and from Maidstone
  • Good connections at Faversham for East Kent
  • Good connections at Ashford with other Mainline services

This is a change from the original DfT specification. Over the last couple of years we've conducted extensive customer research looking at current and future demand and validating assumptions behind the original timetable specification.

The majority of the timetable in December 2009 will be as per the DfT specification, which was based on consultation during 2003-2005.

But we've made changes taking into consideration:

  • improved operational performance
  • infrastructure limitations and
  • faster high speed services

There will be additional services during the morning and evening peak rush hours. So when more of you want to travel there will be more trains for you to catch.

Example journeys

  • Ashford to London

A journey to London that today takes up to 88 minutes from Ashford, will take just 37 minutes on our high speed services.

  • Canterbury to London

From December 2009 it will take 61 minutes to make a journey that now takes around 109 minutes.

  • Chilham to London

From December 2009 Chilham will have a direct service to St Pancras.

  • Folkestone Central to London

What takes around 100 minutes today will take just 52 from December 2009.

  • Sandling, Wye Sturry & Minster to London

Travelling from these stations to St Pancras will need a change of trains at Ashford to connect with high speed services. But there's still a time-saving to be had. For example the journey from Sandling will take around just an hour compared to an hour and a half now.