By Marcus Leach
Passengers on some of the country’s busiest rail routes are set to benefit from extra carriages to ease overcrowding and the former Waterloo International Station is to be reopened for commuter services, Transport Secretary Justine Greening announced.
The 60 extra carriages are being added thanks to Government funding for South West Trains to lease the vehicles. Their arrival will mean that services from Windsor, Weybridge (via Staines), Portsmouth, Southampton, Eastleigh, Reading, Hounslow and Alton into Waterloo can be lengthened and additional services will also run from Reading. Their deployment will mean that platform 20 at the former Waterloo International Terminal will come back into use from 2014.
The carriages - which will allow around 8,000 extra peak-time passengers into Waterloo every morning - will begin arriving from May 2013, with all new services in place by July 2014.
“Passengers travelling into Waterloo have to suffer some of the busiest trains in the country, with sardine-can like conditions on many peak-time services," Justine Greening said.
"These extra carriages will help ease those conditions, while opening an extra platform will provide space for additional trains to run. But our plans do not stop here. We are now embarked on one of the largest programmes of rail investment since the Victorian era and we expect to introduce further carriages on Waterloo routes and bring more platforms into use in the future."
Network Rail is continuing to progress plans to make further use of Waterloo and Waterloo International to cope with future demand.
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