The biggest ever investment plan for the regions rail network has just been announced.
Waterloo International will at last be used by South West Trains to ease overcrowding Network Rail and the Government will announce today
The head of Network Rail has made a "full and unreserved apology" to families bereaved by level crossing accidents.
If you are planning to travel via Southampton Central station this Easter weekend you are being warned to check before you do, because of building work. It's part of a £20 million project to improve the reliability of trains through the station. Replacement buses are running.
Passengers using and going through Southampton Central train station this Easter bank holiday are being warned to check before they travel as work and improvements continue.
The station is currently going through extensive work to improve reliability of trains.
The £20 million improvements could affect services from South West Trains, Cross Country, Southern and First Great Western.
Replacement buses are in operation but passengers are reminded to add an extra 60 minutes onto their journey times.
Jim Morgan, infrastructure director for the Network Rail/South West Trains Alliance said:
– Jim Morgan, Network Rail/South West Trains Alliance
We recognise that this is not ideal and we are sorry for the inevitable disruption that will be caused to passengers. We have sought to keep disruption to a minimum whilst we undertake this essential work.
There will be replacement bus services through Southampton over those weekends, and we will have customer service staff available at stations to help everyone get where they are going.
A video has been produced by Network Rail explaining the works taking place on the main line through Southampton. The twenty million pound scheme aims to improve the reliability of trains. It's due to continue on weekends until May including the Easter bank holiday.
More than £10 billion is to be invested in railways across the south. Network Rail says the five year programme will mean more trains, improved railway stations and additional seats for passengers.
Mike Pearse spoke to passengers and Transport Minister Baroness Kramer about the investment.
Network Rail and South West Trains are promising more trains, improved stations and more seats for rail passengers travelling through Hampshire, Surrey and Berkshire. The alliance between the two firms will invest £1.2 billion in a five-year scheme that starts tomorrow.
The money will be spent on the rail network connecting Waterloo to Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and beyond between now and 2019. The investment is part of a wider programme to deliver an extra 115,000 seats a day into the capital by 2019 - an increase in capacity of 20 per cent.
"The growth we are managing now is phenomenal - more than 95m passengers at Waterloo with us every year -there is a clear need to improve the railway in the area.
"Improving Waterloo is a key part of our strategic plan and it will benefit passengers across our network, not just in London. In the next five years we are delivering longer trains between Reading, Ascot and Waterloo, 10-car trains throughout our suburban network.To do this, we need to upgrade the power supply and extend a number of platforms to cope with the extra demand. We also will run additional capacity on some of our main line routes.
– Tim Shoveller, Managing director, Network Rail/ South West Trains Alliance,
"We are also working on plans to improve the resilience of the railway to extreme weather and renewing our focus on safety. While we are the safest railway of our size in Europe, we are not complacent - particularly when it comes to level crossings and the safety of our workforce.
"The next five years will make a huge difference to everyone who travels by train and we are committed to delivering a better, safer, more reliable railway for them."
Services between Newcastle and Reading/Southampton will terminate/start at Birmingham.
Services between Manchester and Bournemouth will run in two portions:Manchester-Oxford, and Didcot Parkway-Bournemouth.
First Great Western will be providing alternative transport between Oxford and Didcot Parkway that can be used by CrossCountry customers.
Passengers holding Advance tickets may travel on earlier or later trains as necessary. CrossCountry tickets may also be used for travel on Chiltern Railways, First Great Western and South West Trains services where required.
South Eastern say the landslips between Robertsbridge and Battle, and at Stonegate, are causing disruption on the line between Tonbridge and Hastings.
The line between Wadhurst and Battle is closed, meaning no trains can run between these stations. This is to allow Network Rail engineers to fix the damage caused by the landslips. The line is not expected to reopen before Monday 17 February.