Rail News

Proposal Announced to Close Folkestone Harbour Branch Line

Network Rail has notified the Department for Transport that it proposes to close the Folkestone Harbour branch line and Folkestone Harbour station.

The line has not been used by passenger services as part of the national rail network since 2001 and only chartered services have operated in recent years.

An assessment of the line was recently carried out by Network Rail which concluded it would not be financially appropriate or responsible to continue to maintain it.

The recommendation covers the railway line between Folkestone East Junction and Folkestone Harbour and Folkestone Harbour station and that they close at the earliest opportunity.

A consultation was launched this week to allow all interested parties to submit their views on the proposals.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rails route managing director for Kent, said: We have carried out an extensive assessment of the Folkestone Harbour branch line, taking all aspects into consideration. We feel it would be irresponsible of us to continue to maintain this unused line, largely at the taxpayers expense, at a time when we are doing all we can to make the rest of our business more efficient.

The consultation is an opportunity to comment on these proposals and ensure that all opinions are taken into consideration before a final decision is made.

The consultation will close on 21 February 2014 and all comments must be received by this date.

Representations can be sent to: Folkestone Harbour Branch Consultation, Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR, or sent to folkestoneharbourbranch.consultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk

They can also be copied to: Network Rail, Folkestone Harbour Branch Consultation, c/o Strategic Planning, Waterloo General Offices, Waterloo station, London, SE1 8SW or folkestone.harbour@networkrail.co.uk

The proposals are available on the Department for Transports website at www.dft.gov.uk/consultations/open

Copies of Network Rails initial assessment can be read at: Department for Transport, Great Minster House, 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR. It is also available from folkestoneharbourbranch.consultation@dft.gsi.gov.uk

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