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Railhub Archive
2006-03-21 NET-001
Network Rail


Proposals for railway growth unveiled

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South West Trains
South Western Main Line

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Network Rail

Proposals for railway growth unveiled

related documents

South West Main Line RUS, final (March 2006) (pdf)

South West Main Line RUS, consultation (November 2005) (pdf)


21 March 2006
source Network Rail
type Press release

note NRHQ2006013

o Longer passenger trains
o Major redevelopment of Waterloo station
o Hourly service between London Waterloo and Exeter
o Larger freight containers

Passengers using the busy routes into Waterloo would benefit from longer trains and a new hourly service between London Waterloo and Exeter, under proposals unveiled by Network Rail today. These also include enhancements to the line from Southampton, which will allow larger freight containers, and therefore growth in the rail freight market.

Launching the ‘Route Utilisation Strategy’ for the south west main line, Network Rail’s Chief Executive, John Armitt, said: “Network Rail is ambitious for the south west main line. This route has seen considerable growth in recent years, and this will continue in the future. This strategy recommends improvements that will grow capacity on this section of railway, meeting the needs of passengers and freight operators.”

While some improvements will take time to deliver, some that are urgently needed could be achieved in as little as one to three years. The strategy proposes:

Within three years

o Passenger trains lengthened to eight carriages (where this is not already the case)
o The introduction of an hourly service between London Waterloo and Exeter
o Begin the enhancement of the route from Southampton to the west coast main line via Reading to allow larger ‘big-box’ or 9’6” containers preferred by freight operators
o Improved interchange with public transport and increased car parking at stations

Within eight years

o Start the redevelopment of Waterloo station, including longer platforms and bringing the international station into domestic rail service use
o Platform extensions at suburban stations
o Commuter trains lengthened from eight to 10 carriages

For the longer term

o Passenger trains lengthened to 12 carriages
o Signalling renewals and track remodelling at Waterloo, Clapham and Reading allowing greater capacity and flexibility on the route

The proposed redevelopment of Waterloo station, including the Waterloo International Terminal, is a cornerstone of the strategy. It will double the concourse capacity and extend all platforms to accommodate at least ten-carriage trains. Network Rail will invite expressions of interest from developers for this project towards the end of 2006.

John Armitt said: “This strategy proposes a range of measures that will make the most effective and efficient use of the capacity on the south west main line. They have been selected on the basis of value for money and potential affordability across the ten-year period the strategy covers.

“The strategy has been produced through close consultation with all key stakeholders, such as: the train and freight operating companies; local authorities; and passenger groups – and it should be viewed as the vision of the industry.”


Notes to Editors

A draft strategy was issued for consultation in November 2005 and this final document sets out the best, most cost effective proposals to deliver growth and additional capacity along this key rail artery

Some of the proposals can be taken forward by the rail industry while others may need funding from other interested parties (for example, a Regional Development Agency, Transport for London, or the Department for Transport) before they can proceed

The final strategy, setting out the recommended proposals, will be now submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation. After 60 days, if no letter of objection is issued, it becomes the established strategy for the route. The full report will be available on our website from today

The official route utilisation strategy is then used to inform decisions made by industry funders and suppliers, such as those about franchise specifications or investment plans. The strategy will also inform the invitation to tender for the south western franchise, which will be issued later this month, and the Department for Transport’s high level output specification for the next control period, which is being developed over the coming year

Network Rail is the 'not for dividend' owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations – the largest of which we also manage

We are working to rebuild Britain’s railway and provide a safe, reliable and efficient rail infrastructure for freight and passenger trains to use

Our website: www.networkrail.co.uk

Media contact: 020 7557 8292

Railhub Archive ::: 2006-03-21 NET-001


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