National campaign group Railfuture and the St Leonards and Hastings Rail Improvement Programme (SHRIMP), a member of the East Sussex Rail Alliance of local rail user groups, are calling for electrification of the whole Marshlink line between Hastings and Ashford International, to accelerate services and improve reliability and capacity. Currently electrified track from Hastings towards Ashford only reaches as far as Ore, the first station.

Railfuture commissioned their member Mike Turner, a Hastings resident and member of the Guild of Railway Artists, to paint this picture of a high-speed Javelin train at Hastings. Mike really enjoyed painting the picture. He said: "This was a golden opportunity to draw attention to the plight of Hastings: three rail routes to London, but like the town's economy, all in need of acceleration. Electrifying Marshlink between Ore and Ashford would be like applying electric shock treatment to the town, jump-starting the revitalisation of the local economy and transforming it into a prosperous, vibrant community."

"High-speed Javelin trains could whisk passengers direct from Hastings to London in under 75 minutes, compared to over 100 minutes via Tonbridge in the peak today. Together with redoubling just 2 miles of track between Winchelsea and Rye, the frequency of services between Hastings and Ashford could be doubled to two trains per hour."

Amber Rudd MP said: "this is a fantastic picture, capturing the future of rail travel through Hastings. We are now firmly on the journey to vastly improved rail travel to and from Hastings."

Electrification of both Marshlink and the Uckfield line, as building blocks for high-speed services to Hastings and reinstatement of the Uckfield - Lewes railway line, are the top two priorities of East Sussex County Council's new rail strategy to stimulate economic growth in the county.