Long-term commuters will have benefited from the improvements to rolling stock and timetable accuracy in recent years but one aspect of commuting on South West Trains continues to blight journeys – overcrowding.
The sheer number of people wishing to travel to and from London by train is growing each year and in particularly via the Waterloo route during morning and evening peak times. There is no practical solution to running additional trains into London Waterloo at peak times and existing train stock are at their agreed maximum permitted length.
Network Rail’s plan to tackle this issue will start by identifying priority train routes that could handle longer 10 and eventually 12 car trains. The redevelopment of Waterloo would double the capacity of the station and extend all platforms to accommodate at least ten car trains.
Plans are already in action to remove shops from the concourse and relocate them to a new balcony section to ease passenger movement (also linking to the Waterloo East bridge). Future work on the stations approach track will increase capacity through this bottleneck that causes issues when there are problems such as signalling failures.
Proposed Waterloo balcony – planned for spring 2012
As part of this strategy, Network Rail intends to extend the current length of the platform 1 and 2 at Teddington Station by 24m and 43m respectively (behind the garden centre).
Although the Railway Clauses Consolidation Act of 1845 allows necessary work to be carried out without permission, plans have been submitted to Richmond Borough Council for approval.
Also for those looking for news about Oyster integration, SWT have released an official response explaining the delay.