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
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.