Multi million pound investment to provide space for 23,000 extra peak time passengers now complete

Published on : Saturday, June 25, 2016

South West TrainsThe £65million introduction of 108 additional and refurbished carriages has now been completed – providing space for more than 23,000 extra South West Trains passengers during the busiest times of the day.


This roll out is a vital part of the biggest improvements made to this network for decades – providing longer trains for many of our busiest services. The delivery of the new carriages is part of the Government’s High Level Output Specification Programme (HLOS).


Their introduction also means the number of train carriages now in service on the South West Trains network has increased from 1,022 in 1996 to 1,449 today – an increase of 42%. In addition, a further 150 brand new carriages will start to be introduced from next year, providing even more space for the half a million passenger journeys on the network every day.


The additional carriages are comprised of Class 456 and Class 458/5 carriages – all of which feature wider doors to help passengers get on and off the train, improved seating, full CCTV and new flooring.


In total, 34 morning services and 43 evening services are now able to run with additional carriages compared to 2014.


Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “We are investing £40 billion in our nation’s railway infrastructure – the biggest upgrade since the Victorian times. The introduction of these 108 modified train carriages on to the South West Trains network is providing a significant increase to peak time capacity into the capital and beyond.


“This is just one part of our long-term plan to improve journeys for hardworking passengers using the route into Britain’s busiest station. From 2017, as part of an £800 million investment in the route, passengers will benefit from a bigger and better London Waterloo station and a further 150 new train carriages, providing even more space for passengers arriving there over the morning rush hour.”


Christian Roth, Managing Director of South West Trains, said: “The completion of this multi-million pound scheme is excellent news for passengers travelling on one of Europe’s busiest railways.


“We are now operating more than 1,400 carriages and providing well over half a million journeys every day and the completion of this significant investment means we are able to provide more space for more passengers than ever before.


“However, we are far from complacent and know there is much more we still need to in order to improve journeys and provide space for the ever increasing number of passengers travelling with us.


“In the next 12 months we will also start to introduce 150 brand new extra carriages as part of a £210million investment. As well as working closely with Network Rail and other partners to expand London Waterloo, improve depots and upgrade infrastructure to deliver a bigger and more reliable railway.”


John Halsall, Managing Director Wessex for Network Rail, said: “The lines out of Waterloo are some of the busiest and most congested in Britain, so this is a really important step to meeting the growing demands the railway is facing.


“We’re now working closely with South West Trains and the Department for Transport to deliver a further £800million investment which will include bringing five additional platforms into use at London Waterloo, as well as longer platforms and longer trains to increase capacity across key stretches of the railway to the south and west of London.”


The Class 456 trains were previously used by Southern but have now been fully refurbished and are similar in appearance to the existing South West Trains Class 455 units. They continue to be owned by Porterbrook and the refurbishment work carried out by Knorr-Bremse Rail Systems.


The Class 458/5 trains were created by integrating the Class 460 fleet, previously used by Gatwick Express, into our existing 4-car Class 458 fleet to create a fleet of 36 5-car units. This fleet is leased also leased from Porterbrook. The conversion and refurbishment was contracted to Alstom the original manufacturer of the vehicles.


Olivier André, Commercial Director for Porterbrook said: “With the completion of both the Class 456 HLOS and Class 458/5 Conversion programmes, we are proud to be supporting our customer, South West Trains, who will now be able to offer more capacity and comfort to their passengers. With this new lease of life, these fleets are now ready to serve South West Trains’ passengers for the foreseeable future.”


Rob Whyte, Managing Director Regional, Intercity & Services, Alstom UK & Ireland said: “This is an important upgrade to one of Britain’s most reliable trains, ensuring it can continue to perform well into the next decade. Not only has the work created more space for commuters, the passenger experience has been improved with better seats and new CCTV and WiFi.”


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