Tuesday 11 Oct 2016
Longer platforms for longer trains: Network Rail completes Berkshire station upgrade
Network Rail has completed its extensions of the platforms at Martins Heron station in Berkshire, part of its £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade that will see new, longer trains running between Waterloo and Reading.
The completion of the upgrade, delivered on schedule and to budget, was today officially marked by Network Rail’s chairman, Sir Peter Hendy.
Commenting on the completion of work at Martins Heron, Sir Peter Hendy said, “The number of passengers travelling into Waterloo has more than doubled in the last 20 years, from 108 million journeys in 1996 to 234 million journeys per year today, but despite this massive increase in passengers the infrastructure and capacity has largely remained the same.
“The Waterloo & South West Upgrade is a vital part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, and is essential to meet the demands of the growing number of passengers at stations like Martins Heron, who will benefit from longer trains and a bigger, better London Waterloo.”
Martins Heron is first of eight stations on the Waterloo to Reading line to be extended to accommodate 10-car trains, with the new, longer trains due to be introduced in summer 2017. Platforms at Camberley and Chertsey will also be extended.
Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell commented, “Since my election to Parliament in 2010 I have called for improved rail services to and from the Bracknell constituency, and so I very much welcome the completion of the station extension at Martins Heron. Many local residents rely on the Reading to Waterloo service and it is they who will benefit from the improved capacity that this much needed infrastructure upgrade will bring.”
Christian Roth, Managing Director of South West Trains, said: “This investment will make a real difference to passengers travelling between Reading and London Waterloo by allowing longer trains to run throughout the day. The completion of the work at Martins Heron is an important milestone in delivering these major improvements.”
The £800 million upgrade is the largest investment in the region’s railway for decades, and will also involve: bringing the five former international platforms at London Waterloo back into permanent use; extending platforms 1-4 at Waterloo to accommodate longer trains; and, a fleet of 150 new carriages.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.