Network Rail’s newly published draft Kent Route Study sets out the strategic vision for the future of the railway lines between Kent and London over the next 30 years.

It says to  meet the projected passenger growth on HS1 services, an option is the lengthening of more trains to 12-cars to accommodate Ebbsfleet Garden City residents.

And an extension of Crossrail/Elizabeth Line services from Abbey Wood towards Gravesend has been identified as an option and work to understand its potential to support growth is currently underway.

The study says along with new track and railway systems, new and replacement structures would also be required along the route. This is likely to involve extensive redesign of existing railway infrastructure around Slade Green depot, junctions near Crayford and Dartford station. There is also an opportunity to align the extension for a better interchange between mainline and high speed services at Ebbsfleet International.

The extension is anticipated to take up to 10 years to design and build and is estimated to cost in the region of £1.5bn.

A Strategic Outline Business Case is currently being developed will also be fed into the Thames Estuary 2050 Growth Commission which has been tasked with developing a delivery plan for North Kent, South Essex and East London up to 2050.

To see the full report click here