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The train of the future keeps our railways running

Leaves on the line, snow - flooding - landslides! We've heard it all before - but, now there's a new weapon which aims to stop delays - and keep our trains running on time.

It's the new £50 million pound 'night train' - now in action - each and every evening - which repairs the track while we're sleeping. Transport correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

New engineering train to ease rail disruption

It's cost £50m and is one of the longest and most expensive to ever take to the tracks. But a rail engineering train - replacing hundreds of yards of ballast in the south every night - is a major new weapon to keep trains on time.

Back in February, the country's biggest landslip in recent years saw 80 metres of embankment at Botley collapse during torrential rain. It meant misery for the south's commuters with the line between London, Eastleigh, Fareham and Portsmouth disrupted for six weeks.

The engineering train is currently replacing thousands of tonnes of ballast between Basingstoke and Salisbury before moving to other parts of the network.

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Big changes for staff and passengers at Reading station

As Reading railway station has under gone a £900 million redevelopment, it has meant big changes for passengers and the staff who work there.

Sangeeta has been to meet the members of staff who are making it all work, including the resident hawk!

She met:

  • Matt Parker- Ticket Office Supervisor
  • Simon Plummer- Customer Service Helpdesk
  • Ali Butt- Train Despatch at Reading Station
  • Katrina Kruger- Passenger Ambassador
  • Pat Kemp- Longest serving member of staff
  • Max Bell- Bird Controller
  • Denise- Resident Hawk!

"Standing room only" thing of the past for commuters?

As thousands struggle home tonight on overcrowded trains, many with standing room only, we can reveal a new scheme to improve the lives of commuters. In a major break with the railway class system, work has begun to rip out thousands of first class seats on the busiest trains to ease overcrowding.

The carriages on Great Western are being converted for standard class passengers. Campaigners says it's a major victory for the majority of travellers over the privileged few.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has this exclusive report. He spoke to Managing Director of First Great Western Mark Hopwood and Frazer Langford, also from First Great Western.

Seats ripped out of 1st class to ease overcrowding

ITV News can reveal work has begun to rip out thousands of first class seats on the regions busiest trains in a radical new move to ease overcrowding.

The carriages on Great Western trains will be converted for use by standard class passengers.

ITV Meridian spoke to Frazer Langford from First Great Western about the drastic move.

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TRAVEL - TRAINS: Disruption to trains on South coast

Disruption on Southern between Southampton Central and Chichester, and between Southampton Central and Brighton due to person hit by a train at Cosham.

Disruption on First Great Western between Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour due to person hit by a train at Cosham.

Disruption on South West Trains between Portsmouth and Southsea and Southampton Central, between Portsmouth Harbour and Eastleigh, between Southampton Central and Petersfield and between Havant and Fareham due to person hit by a train at Cosham.

£1.2 billion spent connecting South East to London

Almost £1.2 billion was invested in the railway connection Kent and Sussex to London last year.

Passenger growth across the whole of London and the South East grew by 7.3%.

More than a billion passenger journeys are made on trains to London every year, equating to roughly 3 million passenger journeys each day.

Investments in Kent and Sussex included lengthening platforms, a new station building at Dartford and miles of tracks being renewed.

Dave Ward, Network Rail route managing director said, "More than 4500 trains run every day between London and Kent and Sussex and over the next five years we will be investing more than £2.3 billion in the rail network in those areas."

More passenger and investments for Network Rail

Figures from Network Rail today reveal record numbers of passengers and investment in rail services across the region over the last year.

The amount spent improving services is almost £3 billion.

Passenger numbers are up around 7% with 3 million journeys every day in the region.

The not for profit company say the biggest investment has been on Brighton line and Kent services, Reading station and upgrading services in the Thames Valley.

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