First Great Western trains

Rail firm franchises delayed

A Government decision to review the way rail franchises are awarded has delayed the awarding of new contracts to run the region's trains.

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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!

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"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.

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."

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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.

All together now! Passenger leads whole train carriage in song

Ever thought to yourself when you were on the train home, how nice it would be if we all burst into song?

Well for Martin Clews who had just been out to celebrate the release of his son's first single, that's exactly what he wanted.

The sing-song happened on the Ashford bound train from London to Victoria on Friday much to the delight of all on board.

Mr Clews, a chartered surveyor and strawberry grower, said:

"I had been celebrating the release of my son Dan’s new single “That’s Enough For Me” over a glass or two of champagne with friends in London.

"It seemed to me that like minded ‘bon-viveurs’ in my carriage might enjoy a jolly song on their way home. So I chose a lively number called 'Beastie' which has become somewhat of a favourite in my rugby club and this went down well with the passengers.

"Dan, who appears at Glastonbury this month, has also been seen performing on trains returning to Sevenoaks from playing gigs in what appears to be a family tradition."

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