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Could this be first step to creation of new Brighton mainline?
The first step towards the reopening of a railway line which campaigners hope could lead to a new London to Brighton line has been taken.
The old Uckfield station closed in 1991 when the link from the town to Lewes was shut.
But the land, which is about 50 metres away from the present station, is one of just five locations in England and Scotland that Network Rail has specifically asked the Department for Transport to transfer into its control.
Campaigners see it as a boost to their plans to create Brighton Mainline 2 (BML2), which would go from London via Uckfield and Lewes and provide an alternative to the current Brighton mainline.
The land is currently held by the former British Rail Property Board, which is one of the quangos being abolished by David Cameron’s administration.
It has been under threat of redevelopment for about 30 years.
But a submission from Network Rail said the Uckfield site, in its view, is required “for operational reasons and to safeguard future rail capacity needs”.
Brian Hart, BML2’s project manager, said: “Ownership of Uckfield had to be the first major step, whilst it’s blatantly clear that only BML2 can deliver substantial new rail capacity into London.
“Once this premise is accepted, we can start building towards a greatly enhanced and more robust Southern network.”