A view of the extended platform at Uckfield Railway Station, from Hempstead Meadow nature reserve, Uckfield.

Gala idea to celebrate Uckfield Line rail upgrade

Train operator Southern is planning a rail gala to celebrate the installation of longer platforms on the Uckfield Line.

The summer event would also mark the introduction of longer trains from July.

Town and parish councils along the line have been asked by Southern for ideas as to what the gala might include.

Uckfield Town Council’s environment and leisure committee was told on Tuesday (March 29) the event would be at Southern’s expense.

Councillors said the gala could be good for Uckfield business as it had the potential to bring different people into the town.

The committee also received a report from a meeting of the Uckfield Railway Line Parishes committee which met in January.

It said members had seen the “excellent work” being carried out at the Selhurst depot on the 12 ScotRail carriages which had been moved south to bolster the Uckfield Line service.

They were in a “very poor state on arrival”, the report said.

Testing is expected to be carried out during the spring with full deployment in July once the platform works have been completed.

The carriages will be configured into two-car and four-car units.

“There is just a chance that some heavily used peak services could be supplemented a little earlier,” the report said.

Buxted station car park

It was reported there was no “immediate prospect” of double-decking the Buxted station car park  owing to a lack of funding at Network Rail.

Comments from Uckfield News readers:

Graham Libaert says on the Uckfield News Facebook page: “Hmmm, ideas to celebrate – how about two months of refunds for season ticket holders and some guarantees to keep peak train services running on time?

“Oh and also some upgraded communications equipment so the staff and driver actually know what’s going on if there is a delay.

“While I think of it, another nice gesture would be to promise never to strand passengers at Crowborough again! (+ free beer)”

Douglas Saunders says on our Facebook page: “Perhaps the small minded councillor that told them to suck on lemons before they could cross a bit of wasteland and made the construction more complex and expensive and lengthy than it should have been could be paraded up and down the track for the day. That would be entertaining and free.”

Hazel Bolster says on our Facebook page: “Talk about Southern blowing their own trumpet. Extra coaches whoopy doo! It doesn’t matter how many coaches you have if there isn’t a train crew to operate it or it breaks down or it’s running late and gets turned at crowborough. We need a proper service.”

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