Sir Peter Hendy CBE who is currently the Chairman of Network Rail arrived at Robertsbridge Station yesterday morning to officially open the new track which joins the London to Hastings mainline to the Rother Valley Railway line. He cut the ribbon across the new track and then climbed onto the footplate of his diesel – ‘Sir Peter Hendy CBE’ – to journey the short distance to Bridge Street and back. It was a proud day for the many people who have been working to achieve this and it has taken a very long time and a great deal of work.
The next stage will be to link the Rother Valley Railway to the Kent & East Sussex Railway so that trains can run from Tenterden all the way to Robertsbridge Junction; passengers will be able cross the platform and get mainline trains to London or Hastings. It will then be very easy for tourists to get the train down from London and then enjoy a day out on the two preserved railways stopping at Bodiam Castle en route to Tenterden.
The great advantage for Network Rail is that they are able to use the RVR track for training purposes – they can bring their rolling stock down to Robertsbridge and move it off the mainline and onto the spur giving them invaluable safe space to train their staff. They can also bring in the aggregates and building materials that they need for maintenance on the main line.
We designed the new station buildings for Robertsbridge Junction and the first is now under construction – the loo block!