After weeks of investigation, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY reveal that there are secret proposals in place to run vehicle-carrying TRAINS through the Dartford Tunnel in a bid to reduce congestion. According to the recently-published Lower Thames Crossing proposals, once a third crossing has been opened the two tunnels will be fitted with a ‘point to point’ railway system that will allow trains to travel in both directions – one tunnel will carry freight lorries while the other will be for smaller vehicles.
A source within Dartford Crossings Ltd PLC Corp. said: ‘We have drafted these plans based on the huge success of the Channel Tunnel. You very rarely get any congestion at either end because vehicles drive onto special trains in an orderly manner before they are whisked to the other side. With the right amount of planning, we could also launch services from Thurrock to Folkestone via Dartford and the High-Speed Rail Link – imagine the hassle that this service would save when heading towards France.’
Our source added: ‘Stopping vehicles from driving through the tunnel on their own would also bring huge security advantages. At the moment, anyone can just wander into the tunnels at Dartford and get all the way into Essex without any barriers in place to stop them. By using trains to carry cars and vans, we would have total control over the situation, and traffic jams at either end of the Dartford Crossing would become a thing of the past. If our predictions are correct, we may even be able to close the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge by 2027. Most importantly, the price to cross would remain the same for the train-based service, and departures would be every 2-4 minutes depending upon demand. The crossing would also give motorists time to relax and unwind before getting back on to the M25.’
According to a leaked email, there are also plans for a passenger terminal to be built at either end of the Dartford Tunnel for busier periods. Drivers will be able to use these and delay their journey by having a meal and taking advantage of other departure lounge-style facilities.