Longer trains to ease commutes
Published: Thursday 28th November 13
Commuters have been given some good news ahead of Christmas, with an announcement that longer trains will come into service before the end of the year.
South West Trains has confirmed the impending arrival of 10-carriage trains on the mainline that passes through Putney, Wandsworth Town, Clapham Junction and Queenstown Road stations, with more to follow early in 2014.
Passengers in Putney are now in a position to benefit from longer trains after Network Rail recently completed platform extension work to enable 10-carriage trains to serve the station.
In addition, Southern Railway has already introduced its first 10-car train on services out of Victoria, with more to follow on services through Balham and Wandsworth Common by Christmas. Southern will also increase the length of trains to Shepherds Bush and Watford in May 2014 from four - five to eight coaches.
These latest developments represent further success for Wandsworth Council’s long-running campaign to increase capacity on the local rail network and secure improvements to the borough’s train stations.
Wandsworth’s transport spokesman, Councillor Russell King, said: “This is fantastic news and something that will obviously help to reduce congestion on this well-used route.
“We’re also speaking with Network Rail about the possibility of a second entrance to the station being built to increase access and provide a convenient interchange with the nearby Tube stop at East Putney.
“The council is working hard to make and secure transport improvements across the borough through our Building a Stronger Wandsworth campaign – a key part of which focuses on creating more transport links and choice for residents.”
Network Rail is currently carrying out work to provide step-free access to Putney Station as part of an £8.5m improvement project. The work, which is expected to be completed by summer, 2014, will see a greatly enlarged concourse and three lifts installed in the station.
This follows work at Earlsfield Station, which now has an attractive new entrance, new ticket office, a passenger toilet and two new lifts to the platforms as part of a £5.5m revamp funded by the Government's Access for All scheme, Network Rail, South West Trains and Wandsworth Council.
In addition, the council has been carrying out work to upgrade pedestrian facilities by widening pavements outside the station entrance, removing unnecessary street furniture and providing more bicycle parking facilities.
Prior to the Earlsfield enhancements, the council championed improvement work at Clapham Junction Station, which resulted in the opening of the step free entrance on St John’s Hill.
More recently, the council has been overseeing improvements to the environment immediately outside the station, including pavement widening, roads resurfacing and the installation of a new diagonal pedestrian crossing.
Councillor King added: “As well as doing what we can for commuters who rely on trains, we’re helping bring the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme to Wandsworth, working closely with Transport for London (TfL) and the GLA to pave the way for a Northern Line extension into Battersea, and undertaking a massive road and pavement repair project.”
For more information about the Building a Stronger Wandsworth campaign, which also focuses on improving schools and neighbourhoods, helping people into home ownership, building new homes and bringing jobs to the borough, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/strongerwandsworth.