Hopes that railway line will return to its former glory

Campaigners see the new Uckfield railway station building as another step on the journey to bringing the line back to its former glory.Ribbon cutting rail station

Town mayor, Len Ashby, in his speech, referred to hopes the line north to Hurst Green would be electrified and once again become dual track.

And more than one person at the opening spoke of the hope the line would be rebuilt to the south to once again link the town by rail with Lewes.

The other pressing issue is car parking.

The new station has only a handful of spaces and efforts continue to open the old station yard on the other side of the road as a car park.

Southern Managing Director Chris Burchell told Uckfield News.com: “We are really keen to see a bigger car park at Uckfield.

“The growth of the line showed us there is demand for the station and people want to drive here.

“We are very keen for that to happen and we are working with Network Rail and local authorities to try and make that happen.

“There seems to be a number of hurdles preventing us at the moment but we are quite determined that we have to got to try and make something happen there.

“There seem to be a number of issues around the planning of the site, the fact that it is the old track bed. I think there may be some environmental issues, flooding and so forth that we need to work through.”

He also pointed out the land was not owned by Southern or Network Rail but by the British Rail Board Residuary.

“There are a number of complicated relationships we need to work through but I think almost every party wants to see something happen.”

Did you know?

*Uckfield’s original station was opened in October 1858 when the town was the terminus of the branch line from Lewes.

*The line was extended northwards to Tunbridge Wells ten years later.

*The line between Uckfield and Lewes closed in 1968

*In 1991 the Victorian station – which was on the opposite side of the road to the present building – was closed. It was demolished in December 2000.

See also:

A look at Uckfield’s railway history

Uckfield … a modern town

War arrives on Uckfield’s doorstep

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