We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Ashford International Station

Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
Ashford International Station

We are looking at a trip that would involve transferring trains at Ashford International. My sister has a walker and we will all have 1 large checked size bag as well as a carry-on size bag. They are giving us 6 minutes to transfer from 1 train to the other, currently assigned from platform 5 to platform 8. With all the luggage and the health issue, is this enough time? We will not be able to sprint anywhere! The other option is to wait an hour for another train, at which point, we may as well take the slower train to Kings Cross via London Bridge, as we'd arrive at the same time.

9 replies to this topic
Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,736 posts
41 reviews
1. Re: Ashford International Station

There is no platform 8 at Ashford International, there are only six. Numbers 5 and 6 are opposite sides of the same platform.

The high speed trains to London St Pancras leave every 30 minutes. I don't quite get why you think you might have to wait an hour.

Please check the information 'they' have sent you.

Level Contributor
26 posts
1 review
2. Re: Ashford International Station

.My mistake - we arrive on platform 1 and change to platform 5. This is per the trip planner on National Rail. We are originating in Hastings with the connection at Ashford, going into St Pancras.

Surrey UK
Level Contributor
2,021 posts
17 reviews
3. Re: Ashford International Station

Have you asked about assistance? There's a national freephone number 0800 022 3720. You might also like to take a look at the plan of Ashford station here:

nationalrail.co.uk/stations-and-destinations…

It shows lifts to and from the subway but with a red cross through them. If you move the cursor to the relevant place it says "Under construction at the time of audit". Hopefully, they are now working as it looks to me as if, without them, an interchange would be difficult for a passenger with a walker. The helpline should be able to connect to some one who knows unless another contributor on here can confirm.

You say you've been offered an alternative via London Bridge. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the layout there since rebuilding. But an (even) easier interchange might be possible if you were to take a train from Hastings with Victoria as its final destination and change at East Croydon. The route is a slow one but the change at East Croydon just involves staying on the same platform with, at most, a level walk of a few yards across to the other side.

Albufeira, Portugal
Destination Expert
for Algarve, Faro, Portugal
Level Contributor
58,736 posts
41 reviews
4. Re: Ashford International Station

I would agree that six minutes is a bit tight at Ashford if you have mobility issues (I was there not long ago) but as the high speed trains go every half hour I cannot see a problem unless you have an advance ticket for a specific train.

The thought also occurs to me that it is less troublesome to go from Hastings to London Bridge since there is a much shorter walk between the platforms, but it is madhouse of a station any time. Also. at weekends, you need to check carefully for changes and bus replacements. The high speed service from Ashford always runs at weekends.

London, United...
Level Contributor
704 posts
123 reviews
5. Re: Ashford International Station

It’s about a 2 minute transfer, 3 if you have to wait for the lifts. If your sister can maintain half normal walking pace you’ll be fine.its about 100yard in total. Get on the rear of the train to Ashford.

Hastings, United...
Level Contributor
199 posts
40 reviews
6. Re: Ashford International Station

I think two mins for someone with no fitness concerns or luggage sounds about right (my son and I managed it in about 30 seconds today as our incoming train from Hastings was five mins late - but sprinting was required! - however, we knew exactly where we were going.

The good news is the train is two carriages long so wherever you are, you are not too far from the lift. But if time is tight and your fitness allows I would consider getting up when you start seeing housing out the window (about 5 mins after leaving Ham Street) and walking to the right hand set of doors in the middle of the train, You get out on the right hand side of the train and the lift will be signposted when you get off, it takes you one level to a tunnel where you turn right and walk less than 100 yards another lift to platform 5.

If you miss the train, there will be another one in 30 minutes.

We would normally take the Hastings -> London Bridge jorney if we were heading to King Cross (but the interchange to the underground is much much worse than Ashford, however - it is cheaper (and from St Leonards WS - the stop we get on at the timings are much of a muchness 1hr19 to London Bridge + 10 mins interchange and 10mins on underground vs 1 hour 31 via Ashford) - if you wanted to avoid the underground you could also get a Thameslink service from London Bridge to St Pancras (there is one 8 minutes after the Hastings train arrives at London Bridge and the interchange would be doable via lifts - they are often on neighbouring or the same platform anyway).

Would discount the Victoria option mentioned in post #3 due to time. Even though the interchange at East Croydon would be easier the journey time would national rail is giving me for that journey is an eye watering 2 hours and 35 mins to St Pancras with a 5 minute interchange (on one of the most unerliable stretches of the network for punctuality) - you would be quicker (and more relaxed) missing the first train from Ashford to St Pancras and catching the second - allowing for a leisurely 36 minute interchange at Ashford - indeed if you could miss two St Pancras trains from Ashford and still get there faster!

Loughton, United...
Level Contributor
6,864 posts
390 reviews
7. Re: Ashford International Station

We did this a couple of weeks ago. 6 mins is more than adequate. Bear in mind luggage space on the short train from Hastings to Ashford is a bit inadequate, but it's a good ride, surfing through the sheep on Romney Marsh,,,

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
15,110 posts
141 reviews
8. Re: Ashford International Station

I've just travelled via Ashford yesterday and can assure you the lifts at each pair of platforms are fully functioning. They are located at the end of each pair of platforms, behind the stairwell. As they only descend one floor, they take just seconds to reach the underground tunnel linking each pair of stairs/lifts. On exiting the ground floor from platform 1, with your back to the lift, turn right. The entry to the lift for platforms 5 & 6 is directly opposite the stairs up to the platforms.

There are electronic display screens at every platform, which show the destination, platform number and departure times. Staff on the trains also announce the platforms for connecting train, while the on board announcements also announce the end station. So..you won't get lost!

If your sister needs assistance to get on/off trains, there are usually plenty of staff around who'll be happy to help. The guard on the Hastings to Ashford train may phone ahead & arrange for staff to assist.

In general it should take less than 6 minutes to get from platform 1 to 5, but if you miss your HS connection, then it's no chore to wait for the next one, as they run every half hour. There is a café and a set of toilets on every pair of platforms, & generally plenty of staff to advise and assist.

The HS trains from Ashford to St Pancras are clean, quiet and very fast! There are toilets and ample luggage space, but no refreshments.

Winchelsea, United...
Destination Expert
for West Sussex, East Sussex
Level Contributor
6,452 posts
15 reviews
9. Re: Ashford International Station

I did it in 40 seconds once, but I really suggest you don’t try that.

Avoid the peak hours of 7-9 and 1630 to 1830 if you want a good chance of a seat on either train from Ashford.

Mike

Reply to: Ashford International Station
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted