Second victory for longer trains campaign

Published: 9 January 2012

A second south London rail operator has announced plans to use longer trains on local commuter services.

Southern Railways has now confirmed it is ordering extra carriages for rush hour services in December 2013 meaning thousands more Wandsworth residents can now look forward to a more comfortable journey to work.

The company operates key local routes including the overcrowded service to Victoria via Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction and Battersea Park.

The breakthrough is the second major victory in a matter of weeks for the council's long running campaign to increase capacity on the local rail network.

Just last month South West Trains (SWT) announced plans to lengthen some of its rush hour services on routes from Windsor, Hounslow and Weybridge to and from Waterloo. These services stop at Putney, Wandsworth Town, Clapham Junction and Queenstown Road Stations and are used every weekday by thousands of local residents.

These trains - which suffer from some of the worst overcrowding in London - will be lengthened from eight to ten carriages from May 2013.

Capacity on this route is set to increase further from 2014 when SWT will introduce additional services to the timetable during the morning and evening peaks.

These extra trains will make use of platform 20 at the former Waterloo International Terminal which is being brought back into use to help increase capacity on the south west London rail network.

Wandsworth Council's transport spokesman Cllr Russell King said:

"After years of campaigning we finally have a clear timetable in place for the introduction of longer, higher capacity trains on Wandsworth's busiest rail services.

"For the passengers who board these jam-packed trains everyday the extra carriages cannot come fast enough and we will be pressing the rail industry to keep  to  these deadlines.

"Improving Wandsworth's transport services is a top priority for this council. Through our Travel Choices campaign we are working hard to introduce new transport options like Boris Bikes while fighting for the investment we need to improve Wandsworth's rail, bus and tube services."

Notes to editors

Southern Railways will expand capacity across its network with the introduction of 130 new carriages.

South West Trains' fleet is being expanded with 60 refurbished carriages.