In 2011 a modern electric train takes 52 minutes with two stops - High Brooms and London Bridge for the 33 mile journey. Such is progress.
The High Speed service between Ashford and St Pancras takes 35 minutes with one stop, at Stratford. Passengers from Tunbridge Wells and stations to Orpington are paying higher fares to meet the cost of this service, even though journey times on their own route do not match the service provided 80 years ago.
The electric trains are hardly run to their full potential. On the Ashford - Tonbridge route the trains amble between stations and have long dwell times, although I suspect this is deliberate to encourage passengers from Ashford to London to pay extra to use the High Speed line instead of the 'historic' line to Cannon Street/Charing Cross.
I accept that the slow speed is a consequence of a number of factors:
- The line between Tonbridge and Orpington is close to maximum capacity at peak times.
- Line speeds in the London area are constrained by the signalling and flat junctions.
- The London Bridge bottleneck.