Siemens has been awarded a £210m contract to build a fleet of 150 new passenger trains for South West Trains in bid to boost capacity for peak-time passengers on the UK’s busiest commuter network.
Over the past twenty years, the number of passengers using South West Trains services has increased by more than 100%. More than 22 million journeys are made on the network every year, hence services can become extremely crowded during peak periods.
The new trains will accommodate more than 18,000 extra peak-time passengers every day travelling into London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest train station. They will also help provide more than 6,000 daily peak-time passengers once infrastructure upgrades are completed on the mainline.
Chief Executive for the South West Trains Network Rail Alliance, Tim Shoveller, said: “These exciting plans will deliver the biggest step-change in capacity and service to our customers on the network in decades.”
The order is part of a five-year plan developed by the Alliance to transform services, including the full reopening of four platform at the former Waterloo International Terminal and then extending Platforms 1-4 to accommodate longer train carriage.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry, said: “More passengers are travelling on our railways than ever before and to meet the demand for extra seats and services, over £38 billion will be spent on the railways during the next five years. This latest new train deal is proof not only of our determination to transform British railways but also the industry’s commitment to deliver a better journey for Britain’s passengers.
“These new trains will not only deliver significant benefits to passengers by boosting capacity, it will also stimulate economic growth through better connections along some of Britain’s busiest routes and create 140 new jobs in the rail industry. This is good news for rail passengers and for the UK economy.”
The first of the 150 new trains will start arriving in 2017. All will be in service by 2018 and will be maintained by South West Trains at their Wimbledon depot.