Tuesday 1 Nov 2016
Longer platforms for longer trains: work continues apace at Bracknell and Wokingham
Passengers at Wokingham and Bracknell stations will soon benefit from longer trains as Network Rail’s work to extend the station’s platforms continues.
The longer platforms are on track to be completed by February 2017, ahead of the launch of longer trains in summer 2017. Work completed so far includes the commissioning of the new signalling at the stations, and large sections of the new platforms.
The upgrades at Wokingham and Bracknell are just one part of the £800 million Waterloo and South West Upgrade, the biggest package of improvements for passengers travelling on this railway for decades, and will provide thousands more seats for passengers on trains between London Waterloo and Reading.
Stewart Firth, principal sponsor at Network Rail said, “Passengers at Wokingham and Bracknell will have seen the work progressing at a fantastic rate over the last few months, and I’m delighted to say that it’s all due to be delivered on time by February.
“The enormous investment along the route, part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, will provide passengers with a better railway and better services, and passengers at Wokingham and Bracknell will be some of the first to benefit when longer services begin operating next summer.”
The Waterloo and South West Upgrade will ultimately provide an extra 30% capacity at London Waterloo. As well as providing longer platforms for longer trains along the route, this will be achieved by bringing the former Waterloo International Terminal into use, which will provide an extra five platforms in Waterloo, and by introducing a fleet of brand new trains, providing 150 additional carriages.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Wokingham and Bracknell are two of the 10 stations that will benefit from longer platforms, which will allow ten-car trains to operate, rather than just the current eight-car services, providing more space for passengers. The new, longer services will be introduced in summer 2017.
The Waterloo and South West Upgrade is an investment of more than £800million, delivered by Network Rail and South West Trains, in partnership with the Department for Transport. In addition to the works to extend platforms between London and Reading, it also includes:
- Rebuilding the former International terminal at London Waterloo to provide five additional platforms for domestic passengers.
- Extending platforms 1-4 at London Waterloo to allow longer 10-car trains to run on Suburban routes.
- A fleet of brand new trains, providing 150 additional carriages.
- New technology to make trains more efficient and improve punctuality.
- Improvements to depots and maintenance facilities to look after the network’s biggest ever fleet of trains.
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.