09:20AM, Tuesday 23 May 2017
Air conditioning, extra luggage space and free Wi-Fi are among the perks available to commuters on new electric trains between Maidenhead and London.
Great Western Railway (GWR) started running its fleet of eight Electrostars to the capital yesterday (Monday) as part of its ongoing upgrades to the line.
The service is scheduled to be extended to Reading and Didcot Parkway by early 2018.
In a statement released yesterday, GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “The Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK.
“We have promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and more comfortable, quieter journeys.
“We started to run our first new electric trains between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington in September and increased this to a half-hourly frequency at the start of the year.
“Today, I am delighted to announce that we have now extended these services to Maidenhead.”
While the changes should improve travel on the mainline, the Maidenhead-Marlow branch line, which also takes in Furze Platt, Cookham and Bourne End, will now become a ‘self-contained shuttle’ with no direct route to London.
Just one extra peak-time service has been added to accommodate this change
The Electrostars were first run on the line in September, with two eight-carriage trains operating between Hayes and Harlington and Paddington.
This pair and a further six went into service yesterday.
According to GWR this ‘will eventually be a total of 45 new four-carriage sets’, leading to a 40 per cent increase in seating capacity for its trains in the Thames Valley.
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