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New electric trains will operate from May

The first of a fleet of new overcrowding busting commuter trains for the Thames Valley will start running from Maidenhead to Paddington from May, it has just been announced. Reading and Didcot will follow in January. It is also confirmed the new Elizabeth line (Crossrail), with services direct to central London and the City from Reading, will run from the end of 2019. The new electric trains run by Great Western Railway could only travel to Hayes until now because the work needs to be completed on more of the line. It is part of the £2.8 billion upgrade of the Great Western line, the biggest ever of its type. Work to electrify the line to Maidenhead from Paddington, part of the Crossrail scheme, is now complete allowing the next stage of the electrification project to open. The new electric trains will have more seats and carriages to ease crowding. Work to electrify the lines to Newbury, Didcot, Swindon and Oxford as well the the routes to Bristol and Wales continue. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse was given exclusive access to see how work was progressing at Wantage in Oxfordshire.

First wind turbine erected off south coast in 'most significant landmark' for green energy

Its taken seven years of planning, development and construction, but this weekend the first of 116 wind turbines off the coast of Brighton touched the sky.

The entire project isn't due to come online until 2018 but, with the sun shining, residents have been given their first glimpse of what clean energy for more than 300,000 homes looks like.

Andy Dickenson reports and speaks to Chris Tomlinson of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm.


Report asks: just how smart are smart meters?

An investigation by ITV's Tonight programme is claiming that the installation of energy smart meters could cost householders more than £11 billion. The programme also says consumers should be wary of claims that the meters are free, as there is no legislation to make energy companies pass on financial benefits to customers. The government insists the claims don't reflect the benefits of the meters. Kevin Ashford reports

Honour for Donald Campbell's Bluebird team

It's 50 years this month since Donald Campbell was killed in his speedboat Bluebird on Coniston Water in the Lake District.

It was a team of engineers from Sussex who helped Campbell set many world records before his tragic death.

Now, their groundbreaking work designing his boats and cars has been officially recognised thanks to Burgess Hill District Lions Club, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

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