South West Trains has started running the first ever 10-car regular passenger trains between Windsor and Waterloo. The 10-car service left London Waterloo at 05:58 this morning and returns from Windsor at 07:23. It will now be used to operate 14 different train services between London Waterloo and Windsor every weekday, offering an extra 28 carriages per day on this route.
This marks a major step in the delivery of a multi-million-pound investment programme to improve rail services on the UK’s busiest commuter rail network. Over the next 12 months, a further 98 carriages will be rolled out to provide extra space for passengers travelling during peak times between Windsor and Waterloo, and on a number of mainline and suburban services.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: “We are investing record amounts into transforming our railways and it is great to see this investment delivering real benefits to passengers, local businesses and the economy. These much-needed carriages will provide a welcome boost to commuters through additional trains and services, allowing more people to travel on these vital commuter routes.”
Tim Shoveller, Managing Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance, said: “Today is a good day for our passengers, marking the first phase of a major programme focused on improving our services for our passengers.
“As we squeeze more seats and space onto what is already the country’s busiest railway, it is inevitable that the projects become more technically complex. This project alone has seen the rebuild of modern trains, extension of over 60 platforms, moving signals and upgrading power suppliers – all whilst running an incredibly busy railway.
“This is a great step forward, but we are determined to do more as demand for services continues to grow. Great progress is now being made with the Department for Transport to redesign Waterloo and the surrounding area which could enable us to introduce more additional trains and provide some of the biggest improvements at Waterloo since the 1930s.
“We are very pleased that passengers are now starting to benefit from the additional carriages, and we will be working with our suppliers to roll out the remaining carriages as quickly as possible.”
The extra carriages were launched at an event with Rail Minister Stephen Hammond on Friday 7 March on Platform 20 of the former Waterloo International station. Platform 20 will be re-opened for full passenger services from Monday 19 May and proposals are being developed to deliver a short-term solution to re-open Platforms 21 and 22 of the Waterloo International Terminal later this year, whilst a longer term solution is agreed with the Department for Transport.