Friday 30 Jun 2017
Prime Minister opens railway sidings for new electric services
Prime Minister, Theresa May, officially opened a new £4.5million railway siding in her constituency of Maidenhead this morning, which will see Great Western Railway (GWR) increase the number of electric, peak time trains.
The sidings have been installed as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and will ease congestion on the railway, allowing GWR to introduce a further three new eight carriage Electrostar trains, increasing capacity and improving passenger’s experience.
Theresa May, the Maidenhead MP, unveiled a plaque to mark the opening of the sidings and said: “It is great to see that this vital work, which will increase capacity and improve services for passengers, has been completed ahead of schedule.
“Improving peak-time services between Maidenhead and London is one of my priorities as an MP, and it is good news for the town that we are making such progress.”
The new Electrostar services were extended from Hayes & Harlington to operate between Maidenhead and London Paddington in May this year at peak times. Today will see a total of eight, eight carriage electric trains now in service, replacing five and six carriage diesel services.
The newly-opened sidings have been delivered 18 months early, and electrification between Maidenhead and London Paddington was also completed ahead of time after being funded and delivered by the Crossrail project. The new sidings will be used by Elizabeth line trains from 2019.
Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “It is a real honour to have the Prime Minister with us to officially open the sidings which will allow more of the fantastic new GWR electric trains to run between Maidenhead and London Paddington.
“By delivering the sidings 18 months early it allows passengers to enjoy the benefits of electrification and our Railway Upgrade Plan sooner than expected.”
Mark Hopwood, GWR Managing Director, said: “The Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK. We have promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and more comfortable, quieter journeys.
“We started to run our first new electric trains between Paddington and Maidenhead in May and I am delighted to be here today, as we further increase the number of new, eight carriage electric trains in service.”
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.