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High speed train arrives at Ramsgate

By This is Kent  |  Posted: September 07, 2009


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EARLY RISERS: Three of Thanet’s politicians welcome the arrival of the new high speed train from Ramsgate. From left, Thanet council boss Sandy Ezekiel, Thanet South MP Steven Ladyman and deputy leader Roger Latchford

THERE was a new dawn in transport for Thanet yesterday (Monday) as commuters boarded two high speed trains bound for Kings Cross St Pancras.

Passengers heading for a day in the city, were treated to spacious seating with ample leg room and a squeaky clean modern interior.

Train company Southeastern has spent £258 million on 29 bullet-nosed high speed trains called 395s. The new preview service at 6am and 7.05am from Ramsgate will run up until the full service launch in December 2009. Southeastern boss, Charles Horton, said: “We always hoped we could expand the preview service and thanks to the success of the first weeks we are now in a position to do this. We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the service before the full timetable is introduced in December.”

Thanet South MP Steve Ladyman, who was up early to welcome the new train for the first time, said: “I think this new train is going to be fabulous new for Thanet and it will open up a new route into London. Once the new rail link is in place, I reckon I’ll be able to get to Parliament in one hour and 35 minutes.”

The new service is expected to attract more commuters to the area could have a positive effect on house prices and tourism.

Dr Ladyman, added: “When the calculations were done about the journey by Southeastern for their business model it did indicate a change of clientele using the service. I guess if you’ve moved to Thanet to get to Charing Cross you will use the old service but this new link could attract more people to the area.”

Only 25 commuters boarded the first train but Ramsgate station manager  Steve Bowen remained optimistic.

He said: “I think you can see it has attracted some interest. I reckon 25 people got on the train which is a promising start as the regular 6.12am into London gets the same number.”

Thanet council boss Sandy Ezekiel, who jumped on the train with deputy leader Roger Latchford, said: “This is excellent news and just the sort of investment we’ve been waiting for. It opens up the potential for Manston airport and China Gateway and moves Thanet into the commuter belt.”

The new preview service will radically improve journey times saving 49 minutes on the average commute from Ramsgate. For more information go to www.southeasternrailway.co.uk.

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    Paul weaver, ramsgate  |  October 15 2009, 10:15AM

    i moved here last year with out doing any reaseach .i wish i did now .love ramsgate . the train link is great but i cant beleave how counclers and allways rich folk all ways seen to be herd first ..i could pull my hair out.. there no jobs here the place is very dated where does all the money go .you have a fantastic airport sitting there doing nothing yet it could be the heart of thanet making loads of jobs .yet u let silly people with jobs say no .. sit back think new airport loads of jobs town starts to boom house prices rise .im very happy to have a plane flying over my home .. after all im from luton look how that town is booming now ..stop holding things back get a move on its the future of your kids and the people here no point in having westwood cross and keep making new shops if the people here have no money and no jobs wake up will you ..and who can aford to take the high speed train yet again the people dont have the money .. opps sorry it was put there for the folks who have money and jobs allready .. as u guessed im uninplyed ... ha and taking a i.t course now ... to start a new carer... but can u beleave it if a part time job comes up i must stop training even if the job was for 2 weeks ... we live in a silly world .. we can make super computers take a man to the stars but but we cant make easy and simple rules that let people get the training and the realy things in life that make the world turn and bring happyness .

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    steve higgins, Ramsgate  |  September 07 2009, 10:58AM

    The council leader and his deputy use every opportunity to talk up Manston Airport, and they have not dissapointed today. I would be interested to hear in greater detail exactly what "potential" High Speed Rail brings to the airport. Would the councillors or anyone else like to enlighten us?