Squished rail commuters rejoice: Southern and South West Trains have both placed orders for new carriages so they can run longer trains from 2013.
Southern placed an order with Bombardier for 130 more Electrostar carriages, to go on its Metro routes into Victoria, after it became clear the carriages they’d leased to First Capital Connect wouldn’t be returned in time to meet capacity commitments. Oops. The new rolling stock should be running by December 2013.
South West will get the first of 60 refurbished former Gatwick Express carriages from May 2013, allowing trains from Windsor, Weybridge and Hounslow to run 10 instead of 8 coaches. SWT reckons an extra 8,000 passengers will be able to travel into Waterloo during the morning peak (or existing commuters will have a bit more breathing room). In addition, the long-promised extra platform 20 (from the old Waterloo International) will come into service in summer 2014 – though presumably the taxpayer will continue paying £1.3m a year to keep the mothballed station in useable condition until then.