Train firm's pledge to commuters
Published: 3 Jun 2012 12:00
In an exclusive interview with The Chronicle, Tim Shoveller, South West Trains' managing director, outlined what the future holds for regular commuters, including the planned introduction of 'Oyster-style' swipe cards.
Mr Shoveller promised passengers from Reading to London will benefit from work to extend the size of the platforms on the Windsor & Eton Riverside to Waterloo line which will ease pressure on the busy Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction stations.
He said: "The bigger trains will not serve Reading, but the trains are never full there anyway. The benefit comes when fewer passengers are getting on further up the line because bigger trains starting at Windsor will carry more people."
The longer trains, extended from eight to 10 carriages, are expected to be in place by next May, and 12 months later two extra peak time trains will be leaving from Reading - at 6.24am and 6.54am.
'Oyster-style' swipe cards are poised to be introduced and South West Trains are waiting for Transport for London to finish installing the facilities at that end.
Mr Shoveller said: "The big objective is ticketing because it is ridiculous that we still ticket customers with a piece of cardboard."
He believes it will be more efficient for passengers, but also enable train companies to be flexible with pricing and journey options, and it is hoped the swipe card system will be in place by the end of next year.
However, the little publicised alliance between Network Rail and South West Trains, has been in place since the end of April. The unique pilot brings the companies' 6,000 staff under one management structure and is in response to the Government's McNulty Report, published last year, which called for measures to reduce the rail industry's inefficiencies.
Mr Shoveller added: "Passengers won't see immediate differences to their day-to-day commute, but we are looking at making a difference in the middle-to-long term."
South West Trains manages 600 miles of track and 208 million passengers used their service in the last financial year, with the company turning over between £700m and £800m annually.
Get more stories from our Reading section
19 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt
A 20-YEAR-OLD who has been hauled before the courts for 30 offences over seven years has been sent to a youth offenders institution for handling two stolen speakers.
18 Apr 2014 17:00 • James Ash
GUESTS were told to embrace social media and developing technology when businesses from across the Thames Valley attracted new clients on Tuesday.
18 Apr 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge
POLICE have landed a hammer blow in their war on drugs after a judge jailed the final member of a powerful narcotics gang capable of flooding Reading’s streets with nearly half a million pounds worth of heroin.
18 Apr 2014 07:59 • Nick Gutteridge
A JUDGE has praised the bravery of two undercover police officers who helped bring down some of Reading’s biggest drug lords.
17 Apr 2014 17:00
A PRISONER on day release who mowed down a policeman in a stolen car and left him for dead has been jailed.
17 Apr 2014 16:59 • Andrew Belt
POLICE are trying to track down a teenage boy who was attacked and left with head injuries in west Reading.
17 Apr 2014 14:20
MOTORISTS have been boosted by the news that water mains replacement work on Caversham Road will end tomorrow.
17 Apr 2014 12:00 • Joe Gammie
A DRIVER who killed two cyclists in a devastating smash in Purley while nearly two-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit was jailed yesterday (Wednesday).
17 Apr 2014 08:00 • Andrew Belt
WORRIED neighbours have described the “horrendous” moment a car with three young children inside smashed into a parked car on a notoriously-congested road.
16 Apr 2014 15:59 • Nick Gutteridge
A TOP team of council workers who help youngsters struggling with speech and language skills have scooped two prestigious awards.
16 Apr 2014 14:25 • Tessa Watkins
THE number of unemployed people signing on in Reading has dropped.
16 Apr 2014 12:00 • James Ash
THE “biggest job fair in town” which aims to match up jobseekers with vacancies was officially launched last week.
16 Apr 2014 09:20 • Andrew Belt
A WARNING was issued to people planning barbecues after firefighters were called out to a blaze in Tilehurst last night.
16 Apr 2014 08:00
READING East MP Rob Wilson has praised the work of a charity which helps provide toys for struggling families.
15 Apr 2014 17:00 • Nick Gutteridge
“UNSIGHTLY” scaffolding which has been propping up a churchyard wall in central Reading since the 1980s is finally being banished.
15 Apr 2014 12:00 • Tessa Watkins
A CATHOLIC priest from Reading flew to Afghanistan this month to spend four months ministering to troops in Helmand province.
15 Apr 2014 08:00 • Nick Gutteridge
WARRING neighbours employed property experts to fight their corner in a heated debate over plans to build a futuristic house in leafy Mapledurham.
14 Apr 2014 17:00 • Andrew Belt
A PETITION has been launched by campaigners who say betting shops are taking over Tilehurst.
14 Apr 2014 12:00 • Andrew Belt
DISGRUNTLED neighbours who say their lives have been blighted by crater-ridden roads can breathe a sigh of relief after a promised cash injection.
10 Apr 2014 16:29 • Andrew Belt
A FATHER and his three young children had a lucky escape after a car smash in Tilehurst.