PART OF the former Bombardier works site at Ashford, closed in 2014, could see a return to railway use under plans being discussed for the new South Eastern franchise. Space for rolling stock stabling in Kent is in short supply and South Eastern trains could be stabled at the Chart Leacon factory site to the west of Ashford.
With the uplift in services on the Thameslink network, Govia Thameslink Railway requires stabling in the Ashford area for 6x8-car Class 700s by December 2019. The plan is that these will be berthed on 3x16-car roads in the Hitachi depot site, displacing the Electrostars currently stabled there. Discussions are underway with the developer that now owns Chart Leacon to facilitate stabling of 5x12-car Electrostars on the site by November 2019.