Rush-hour services will be provided with two extra carriages as the government begins public consultation into the South Western franchise
07:00, 17 NOV 2015 UPDATED 08:16, 17 NOV 2015
BY MARK EDWARDS
South West Trains
Extra carriages for commuters travelling from Guildford to London Waterloo will provide space for 800 more passengers, South West Trains has announced.
The delivery of the additional carriages is part of a £65 million scheme to provide 108 more carriages across the rail operator’s network.
The 7.16am and 8.07am from Guildford to Waterloo via Cobham and the 6.48pm service from Waterloo to Guildford have been extended from eight to 10 carriages to provide more space for passengers during peak times.
South West Trains has said that the new carriages provides 800 standing and sitting spaces for customers across the three services.
Claire Perry, rail minister, said: “It is great news that this much needed extra capacity has reached a significant milestone and I am looking forward to seeing the full benefits when the scheme completes next year.”
The improvements comes as the government launches a consultation into the South Western franchise, which is due to start in 2017 when the current South West Trains contract comes to an end.
Around 14% of all passenger journeys in the UK are made on the South Western network.
The consultation sets out the expected improvements for the next franchise, which includes the lengthening of platforms one to four at London Waterloo and the roll out of 30 new five-car trains to tackle overcrowding.
South West Trains welcomed the consultation, with a spokesman saying: “The next decade will see increasing levels of demand on an already crowded part of our railway and the people, businesses and communities that depend on it are looking for solutions.
“A huge amount of work needs to be done and we want to finish the job we have started to transform the service for our customers.
“The ground-breaking partnership we have built up with Network Rail and the support of the Department for Transport has unlocked key investment that will deliver a step-change in capacity and customer service over the next few years.”
The 12-week consultation will close on February 9 2016 and is available here..