SWT and Network Rail have marked the first anniversary of their alliance by highlighting the need to increase capacity at London Waterloo station

The South West Trains/Network Rail alliance has highlighted the need to increase capacity into its London terminal by running a one-off special service from Woking into the former international platforms at Waterloo. It was the first passenger train to use platform 20 since the last European service more than five years ago.

The journey which marked the alliance’s first anniversary was intended to demonstrate the practicality of bringing the platform back into full service for domestic traffic in line with the April 2014 schedule agreed with the Department for Transport. However, South West Trains acknowledged that extensive work is still required to do so. It includes opening a new exit onto platform 19, bringing signalling back into use, re-railing parts of the track, roof repairs, platform work and installing new CCTV and lighting.

“Bringing the Waterloo International Terminal into permanent use is an example of what the alliance can help to achieve … and is vital for the much-needed development of the railway across the south and south west of England,” said SWT managing director Tim Shoveller. “It has been talked about for many years and we have shown it is possible.”

The alliance considers that increasing the number of available platforms at Waterloo is essential to address rising demand across the Wessex route. SWT Passenger numbers are forecast to grow by 51% over the next 11 years. Use of platform 20 will help to provide capacity for an additional 23,000 daily peak-time passengers by December 2014.


Alliance efficiency gain

The efficiency of track maintenance work has increased 25% since the SWT/Network Rail alliance was created in April 2012. Initiatives have included amending the timetable to allow better access to the tracks for maintenance work.


This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.
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