First Great Western will add an extra 4,500 seats to commuter trains running into and out of London Paddington starting from early next year.
Extra government funding means a total of 48 carriages will be added to First’s services between London, Reading and the south west. New trains will start operating between Worcester and London Paddington, freeing up capacity for extra seats on Thames Valley commuter services.
Vernon Barker, Managing Director of FirstGroup’s UK rail division, said: “We’re delighted at this announcement by the Department for Transport, which is good news for First Great Western’s customers across the network and will reduce crowding on the most popular peak services.”
A total of 27 peak daily services calling at Twyford, 28 calling at Maidenhead and 23 calling at Slough will receive extra carriages.
Theresa Villiers, Transport Secretary, said: “We are determined to tackle overcrowding and provide better, more comfortable journeys for passengers. These extra carriages will enable existing services to be lengthened which will significantly increase their capacity.
Fifteen carriages being added to the high speed trains operating out of Paddington are ex-British Rail Mk.III buffet cars which will be converted to standard class. 33 carriages will be added to other services across the areas targeted for improvement.These will be phased in between February 2012 and September 2012. The Government hopes the extra carriages will be deployed in time for next summer’s Olympic Games.
The cost of improving capacity on the network will be £28.9m.
A person jumping onto a railway line from a bridge caused the Great Western Main Line to be suspended between Paddington and West Drayton earlier tonight.
The unidentified individual jumped from the A437 Dawley Road bridge onto the tracks at about 10pm on Wednesday. All services between London Paddington and West Drayton stations were suspended once emergency services had been alerted.
London Fire Brigade and London Ambulance Service both attended the scene. The jumper was injured but alive.
Both the relief (local/stopping) and main (fast) lines were reopened by 11.45pm. National Rail Enquiries reports that delays of up to an hour are expected until the end of traffic.
Image via Matthew Black, Flickr.