Work has begun to rip out thousands of first class seats on some of the region's busiest train routes to tackle overcrowding.
Carriages on First Great Western trains will be converted so they can be used by standard class passengers instead.
The thirteen million pound scheme is expected to create an additional 3000 seats for standard class passengers, according to the train company. The existing three first class carriages on high speed trains will be reduced to two or two and a half carriages.
London commuters will find out if First Great Western train workers are to go out on strike later today as the ballot closes for industrial action. Results are expected around lunchtime. The dispute is over dismissal procedures, agency working and zero hours contracts.
Video. There was some first class news for rail passengers today. First Great Western has had its franchise secured for two more years, until September 2015. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse, reports.
Passengers are being promised a series of improvements from First Great Western during the franchise extension, including better wifi and additional sleep carriages:
I am also determined that we see further improvements during the lifetime of this contract; more standard class and fewer first class seats on key services and the delivery of more electric trains for the Thames Valley.
This agreement provides further proof that the Government's new franchising schedule is on track, delivering value for money for the taxpayer and supporting the ongoing multibillion-pound investment programme in our railways.
First Great Western has been given a 23-month extension to its franchise. The company will carry on running the Great Western main line until September 2015 before bidding starts for a new long-term franchise.