Making the Most of Kent?s New High Speed Rail Service

Making the Most of Kent?s New High Speed Rail Service


G Davies, D Jowsey, C Pownall, J Vickers, MVA Consultancy, UK; D Miller, Southeastern, UK


We report on the impact that the Southeastern's new High Speed rail service that commences in 2009 will have on South East England, and how continued demand for rail services can be accommodated on these services and the existing rail network.


In December 2009, Southeastern will begin operation of the new High Speed commuter rail services from St. Pancras and Stratford International, to the Thames Gateway and Kent. MVA have been working with Southeastern for over a year to help them make the most of this exciting opportunity. This work began with an extensive market research programme, including a customer profiling survey, SP surveys with existing users, and telephone surveys with non-users, providing Southeastern with a robust basis for planning its new services.

This paper provides an update on the work we presented last year. This time we focus on the interaction between Southeastern and the growth areas of the Thames Gateway, including the impact of the new Ebbsfleet International Station, as well as regeneration areas within the county of Kent. We look at the profile of the business and population likely to be attracted to the new areas, and how these changes will affect the pattern of rail travel in the area. These effects have been studied through a mixture of interviews with key organisations, desk research and modelling.

Even with the extra capacity provided by the new High Speed services, the increase in demand across the whole region will continue to put pressure on other parts of the rail network. We therefore also look at how the new high speed service will release capacity on the existing network, and how Southeastern can make best use of this to enable passengers who might otherwise be crowded off to travel. Where capacity is still an issue, we look at how growth can be accommodated by encouraging passengers who are not constrained to travel at particular times to move to earlier services.


Association for European Transport