From our colleagues Trains4Deal website: "
A Fast HS1 train service for Deal and Sandwich from October 2011.
Southeastern Trains is to start a high speed train service offering three trains each morning and three each evening connecting both Deal and Sandwich to London St Pancras in under 70 minutes from October this year.
The announcement was made at the Kent Rail Summit held in Maidstone on Wednesday 27 April.
The services will leave Sandwich at 05.51, 06.17 and 06.47 each morning and then call at Deal before following the established route via Dover to St Pancras.
The evening trains calling at Deal and Sandwich will depart from St Pancras at 17.40, 18.40 and at one later time to be announced nearer to the launch, said Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council.
The agreement follows the suggestion first made by Trains4Deal 18 months ago, at the inception of the campaign to get high speed Javelin trains to stop at the two towns.
These trains already pass through both stations empty. Now from October they are to be stopped and passengers allowed to board.
“This interim arrangement does little to aid commuters from outside the area wanting to get to Deal, Sandwich or the Pfizer site near Sandwich early in the day or home in the evenings,” said Ian Killbery from Trains4Deal.
Kent County Council has however prioritised the expansion of the new service to a full, all day high speed link between Deal, Sandwich and St Pancras as its key demand contained in the new Kent Rail Action Plan that was also launched at the Rail Summit.
This request is to be made to the Department for Transport for inclusion in the specification for the new rail franchise due to run from 2014.
“This is a key step along the way to getting Deal and Sandwich a modern, efficient rail service to rival those on offer in other towns of comparable size in Kent. But we are not there yet, the service will be of no use to those wanting to go to London and to take advantage of cheap or concession fares available later in the day,” said Tom Rowland from Trains4Deal."