There have been many calls, for decades for the reopening of the rail link between Lewes and Uckfield (or Uckfield and Lewes, to those looking from the north southwards). The history time line of the railway is very well described by the Wealden Line Campaign Website. However, today there are calls for a more ambitious rail project in the South East to deal with the predicted capacity problems on the existing Brighton Mainline (from Brighton to London Victoria / London Bridge).
Project Manager Brian Hart and his colleagues have investigated the feasibility of BML2 (Brighton Mainline 2) over the last few years, and I have been following and supporting Brian since the idea was muted. There is plenty of information on BML2 on the official website – BML2.co.uk, but for those of us that prefer a graphical representation of the scheme I have altered a recent South East Rail Recent_London_South_East_Rail_Map (copyright acknowledged) and graphically altered it to show a Future_London_South_East_with_BML2. As you can see, the potential for our region is dramatically enhanced and offers a multitude of rail network flexibility.
The key sections of the route in Sussex include:
- A link from Falmer Station (Universities, Schools, The Amex Stadium) north to the existing main line to London Victoria & London Bridge, over the A27 and tunnelled briefly towards the Hamsey Loop
- The reinstatement of the Lewes – Uckfield rail line
As you will see from the Future Rail Network Map above, BML2 also offers other links to Tunbridge Wells and beyond. Personally I think it is a innovative and cost effective scheme compared to some strategic rail proposals for expanding the existing Brighton Mainline, as it predominantly uses a combination of unused rail alignments. Continued luck to Brian Hart and his team as this rail scheme gathers momentum and support from Local Councils, Businesses, MP’s, Lords and most importantly commuters and passengers that want a better rail service in and around Sussex to get to work, school and play!