Commuters will enjoy improved journeys and benefit from 2,400 extra seats during the morning and evening peaks thanks to government funding for an additional 48 rail carriages, Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced today (8 May 2012).
The carriages will be used to boost capacity on South West Trains services travelling into Waterloo by an extra 40 carriages in the morning and 37 carriages in the evening.
Justine Greening said:
I’m determined to do what I can to improve the service and this is great news for passengers. Adding extra carriages to these vital routes will mean more seats for passengers, easing congestion but also helping to boost London’s economy.
With over 1.4 billion rail journeys on the rail network a year, travelling by train is more popular than ever. So, to help meet that demand we are delivering the biggest rail modernisation programme since the Victorian era, with £18 billion committed in this spending period. Today’s good news is part of the government’s programme of providing additional capacity on the railway and will benefit passengers across the South West Trains network. So whether you are in Guildford or Portsmouth, Ascot or Basingstoke, Eastleigh or Exeter, Alton or Aldershot you’ll be getting better services and more seats -which adds up to a real win-win for passengers.
The extra carriages are Class 456 vehicles which are being cascaded from Southern Railways. They will be introduced into service between March and December 2014. Additional capacity will be provided on 17 separate services travelling in and out of Waterloo together with the creation of two additional 8-car morning services from Raynes Park to London.
The additional carriages will facilitate an internal rolling stock cascade which will enable a number of existing services to be lengthened:
- three am peak suburban services will be lengthened from 8-cars to 10-cars
- two pm peak Guildford services will be lengthened to 12-cars; three suburban services to 10-cars and one Aldershot service to 8-cars
- six main line am peak services on the Portsmouth, Portsmouth via Eastleigh, Exeter, Alton and Basingstoke service routes to Waterloo will be strengthened
- six mainline pm peak services on the Exeter and Basingstoke service routes from Waterloo will be strengthened