Rail chaos expected over Christmas

Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers using South West Trains face massive disruption over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

'Army of workers' descend on rails

An army of workers will move in to work on Reading's rails - 6, 000 hotel rooms have been booked over the week to accommodate them.

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Extended engineering works causing problems in the Aldershot area


UPDATE - Alton and Camberley line - Developments overnight mean the service on this route will be altered from that previously published.


UPDATE: Buses replace trains Alton to Farnborough and Guildford to Ascot via Aldershot. Mobile link with details:


UPDATE: Buses replace trains between #Aldershot and Alton / Ascot until further notice


Radical plans to tackle train overcrowding

South West Trains
The train company has announced plans to tackle overcrowding Credit: PA Wire

South West Trains has announced its plans to stop overcrowding on train services across our region.

More train carriages, longer platforms and opening the old Eurostar Terminal are all part of the plans to increase capacity.

South West Trains are looking to increase capacity for almost 10,000 extra peak-time passengers on routes in and out of London Waterloo by 2019.

crowds on train
The plans are part of the train company's aim to stop overcrowding Credit: PA Wire

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Britain needs a strong economy if it wants to compete globally and effective transport links are absolutely key to that. This is why the Government has embarked on one of the biggest programmes of rail modernisation ever"

Scheme could reduce rail delays

For rail passengers delays top the list of passenger complaints but now a new scheme could help reduce the chaos they cause.

A new alliance between South West Trains and Network Rail is paying for extra transport police officers to drive emergency engineers to the scene of incidents with blue lights flashing.

The aim is if the engineers get there faster delays and frustration for passengers will be cut.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse was given exclusive access to join the new squads on patrol.


1966 passenger train to boost economy

Swanage rail platform in 1966
Swanage bay platform in September 1966 Credit: Swanage Railway

A chartered train from London has used a newly restored platform at Swanage for the first time since 1966.

The train excursion from London to Corfe Castle via Wareham is the first to have a train and crew supplied by South West Trains.

The 'Purbeck Adventurer' route ran via Woking, Basingstoke, Southampton, Bournemouth and Wareham on Saturday June, 29 and was organised by UK Railtours, in Hertfordshire.

The train brought in 370 passengers to boost the Isle of Purbeck economy.

Swanage Railway Company chairman Peter Sills said: "We had a very good reaction from passengers on board the 'Purbeck Adventurer'.

"Passengers really appreciate being able to enjoy a fast run from London to Corfe Castle and Swanage which enabled them a seaside special from the Capital to the coast."

Swanage railway platform in 2013
London to Swanage train in the bay platform in 2013 Credit: Swanage Railway

£40m to improve trains a 'jobs boost for Hampshire'

South West Trains' announcement it's to spend £40 million upgrading its fleet of trains could be a major boost for jobs, says our Transport Correspondant Mike Pearse.

The 455's that run on routes to London will have new motors and electrics fitted to make them more reliable.

Mike said: "The carriages already break down less than any others in the country. They will also have a new system fitted that allows them to use less electricity."

The move will benefit commuters across Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, Portsmouth and Reading.

The work will be carried out at Eastleigh over the next three years and will be paid for by SWT and the Government.

£40million investment for trains

New trains will be more reliable Credit: South West trains

Rail passengers in our region are to benefit from £40million of investment.

South West Trains is to upgrade its fleet aiming to offer greater reliability on services from London Waterloo to Reading. Over the next 20 months, one hundred more carriages will be introduced.

Christian Roth, engineering director, said: “Our Class 455 trains are already by far the most reliable fleet in the country, however we are not complacent and we want to make sure these excellent results are sustained and improved even further.

“The new traction motors will help us to improve the reliability of these trains for our passengers at the same time as delivering environmental benefits through the reduced electricity supply.”

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