Kent

Dover rail line collapse: Southeastern passengers to be refunded

Trackside damage at Dover Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Cracks appeared in the sea wall on Christmas Eve

Passengers affected by the collapse of a railway line during storms in Dover are to be compensated, rail operator Southeastern has said.

The train firm said it would refund the difference in cost between mainline and high speed fares - to compensate for the loss of direct high speed trains.

Southeastern will also give season ticket-holders from five stations a backdated 20% refund on mainline fares.

Dover MP Charlie Elphicke, said the line still needed repairing quickly.

He said it had been a difficult time for rail users and it was right passengers should be compensated after the problems were caused when cracks appeared in the sea wall.

Mr Elphicke said an emergency peak-time high-speed rail service between Dover and St Pancras to help commuters had made a difference.

"We now need Network Rail to confirm how long it will take to repair the sea wall," he said.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Sinkholes up to 3m (about 10ft) deep appeared along the track, which was closed on 24 December

Steve Kilby, from Network Rail, said the team was working hard to get a final design in place for repairs.

But, he said: "This week has been very stormy on the beach and our guys have been working through tough conditions."

He said 15,000 tonnes of rock had been placed on the shingle to protect the railway from heavy seas and eventually more than 70,000 tonnes would be in place.

The stations where passengers will be compensated are Sandwich, Deal, Walmer, Martin Mill and Dover Priory.

Compensation claim forms are available for people at the station.

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