Passengers on some of the country’s busiest rail routes are set to benefit from extra carriages to ease overcrowding and the former Waterloo International Station is to be reopened for commuter services, Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced today (23 December 2011).
The 60 extra carriages are being added thanks to government funding for South West Trains to lease the vehicles. Their arrival will mean that services from Windsor, Weybridge (via Staines), Portsmouth, Southampton, Eastleigh, Reading, Hounslow and Alton into Waterloo can be lengthened and additional services will also run from Reading. Their deployment will mean that platform 20 at the former Waterloo International Terminal will come back into use from 2014.
The carriages - which will allow around 8,000 extra peak-time passengers into Waterloo every morning - will begin arriving from May 2013, with all new services in place by July 2014.
Justine Greening said:
Passengers travelling into Waterloo have to suffer some of the busiest trains in the country, with sardine-can like conditions on many peak-time services.
These extra carriages will help ease those conditions, while opening an extra platform will provide space for additional trains to run. But our plans do not stop here. We are now embarked on one of the largest programmes of rail investment since the Victorian era and we expect to introduce further carriages on Waterloo routes and bring more platforms into use in the future.
Network Rail is continuing to progress plans to make further use of Waterloo and Waterloo International to cope with future demand.
The additional carriages will enable trains on the following routes to be lengthened from 8 to 10 cars: Waterloo-Windsor & Eton (Riverside), Waterloo-Weybridge via Brentford and Staines, Waterloo-Hounslow via both Richmond and Brentford. This will be achieved through the introduction of 60 Class 460 vehicles.
An internal cascade will provide two additional Reading and one further Hounslow peak service into Waterloo; and further lengthen seven South West mainline services. South West Trains expect to complete the rolling stock deployment by July 2014, with the first 10-car service operating from May 2013.
The seven mainline services South West Trains expect to be strengthened are as follows:
- morning peak
- Southampton Airport Parkway to Waterloo (8 car to 12 car in high peak)
- Portsmouth Harbour to Waterloo via Eastleigh (5 car to 10 car in the peak)
- Southampton Central to Waterloo (4 car to 5 car in the peak)
- evening peak
- Waterloo to Poole (5 car to 8 car)
- Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh (5 car to 8 car)
- Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh (8 car to 10 car)
- Waterloo to Alton (8 car to 12 car)