Longer South West Trains Taking More Time Than Planned

Response to complaints about passenger overcrowding

South West Trains have admitted they are taking more time than planned to introduce longer trains which should boost capacity for passengers.

They have responded to a letter from London Mayor Boris Johnson on behalf of the main political parties in the London Assembly about overcrowding in the Wimbledon, Putney and Wandsworth areas.

In a letter back to Mr Johnson, South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance Managing Director Tim Shoveller, said: "A total of 108 additional refurbished carriages are being introduced to allow us to run longer train, boosting capacity...on some of our busiest routes. The timescale for the full delivery of these carriages is later than originally anticipated."

He points out that in order to accommodate the longer trains, they have already lengthened platforms at more than 60 stations.

Mr Shoveller also said a £210 million fleet of new trains would start to be introduced to the network during 2017. He said this would increase peak time capacity for suburban passenger by 30% by 2018.

"In parallel, we are planning major improvement works at London Waterloo - already the UK's busiest station - which will help to increase capacity and reliability across the network," he added.

Merton & Wandsworth London AM Richard Tracey said the politicians were now considering their response to Mr Shoveller's letter. But he added: "I personally think that, since the Eurostar International Terminal platforms at Waterloo have been mothballed for almost eight years, it is a very slow response to talk about obtaining longer platforms for longer trains only now, in 2015."

March 9, 2015