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GWR launches electric train services to Maidenhead

22 May 2017

GWR has taken another significant step today with new eight carriage Electrostar services now running between Paddington and Maidenhead.

 

As part of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation, GWR is introducing the new electric trains between Maidenhead and London Paddington.

 

By the Autumn this will increase seating capacity in the Thames Valley by 40%. In early 2018, electric services will extend to Reading and Didcot Parkway.

 

As well as replacing older diesel stock in London and the Thames Valley, these brand new electric trains will provide more peak capacity between Maidenhead and London Paddington, offering a better spread of seats where they are most needed.

 

A further three eight carriage Electrostar trains will come into service just two months later in July, for the same London Paddington to Maidenhead route.

 

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:

“The Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK. We have promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and more comfortable, quieter journeys.

 

“We started to run our first new electric trains between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington in September and increased this to a half hourly frequency at the start of the year. Today, I am delighted to announce that we have now extended these services to Maidenhead.”

 

The new trains will bolster GWR services in London and the Thames Valley, and in July the train operator will also be able to improve Bristol area services by using London rolling stock to provide more carriages, first on the Severn Beach Line, and then more widely.

 

As a result of Network Rail’s electrification work of the Great Western main line, the Marlow to Maidenhead branch now becomes a self-contained shuttle with a direct connection to the improved mainline services and the new GWR Electrostar trains. An extra 0906 Marlow to Maidenhead service will also run to improve connections to London for passengers.

 

Over 3 years a team of 800 Network Rail staff installed 1400 overhead structures and 225km of new wiring over the 12 mile stretch.

 

As well as the masts and wires, Network Rail had to completely re-signal the area, complete 12 track lowers, demolish and rebuild 5 bridges including 2 major road bridges, divert a 132kV electricity supply from overhead pylons through a new 1.5km bored tunnel under the railway plus a mass of ancillary works all on an incredibly busy part of the network.

 

Recognising the importance of our suburban branch lines, GWR are also improving the service frequency between Henley-on-Thames and Twyford to half-hourly throughout the day, closing a gap in our service during off peak hours.

 

New Electrostar trains will deliver consistent, high quality travel for customers across the Thames Valley, offering at-seat power sockets, air conditioning, extra luggage space and free WiFi for customers.

 

The move is part of the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation on the Great Western network, helping to drive improved journey times, increased capacity and greater comfort.

 

Further improvements will be seen across the Thames Valley as the Electrostar trains gradually replace the diesel Turbo trains currently in use in the region, as Network Rail continues work to electrify the Great Western Mainline.

 

Electrostar services are expected to run between Paddington and Didcot from January 2018.

 

The first two eight carriage Electrostar trains were introduced in September and provided an additional 1,400 seats between Hayes & Harlington and London Paddington at the busiest times every day for commuters.

 

Today sees the introduction of further six of what will eventually be a total of 45 new four-carriage sets which will operate in eight carriage, and soon to be 12 carriage formations.

 

Existing diesel Turbo trains will be cascaded to other parts of the GWR network, providing additional capacity where it is needed most.

 

Along with the introduction of new Intercity Express Trains for long distance routes later this year, these new trains mark the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation, and will help transform the Great Western from having one of the oldest fleets of rolling stock, to one of the newest operating in the UK.