Great Western Railway's new timetable from Oxfordshire and Berkshire to London starts on Sunday (December 15), cutting journey times on key routes and increasing seat capacity.

The changes have been welcomed by local rail campaigners, who also warn that more investment is still needed to give the county the service it deserves.

The journey time from Reading to London Paddington will be typically 22 minutes compared to 25-30 minutes at present, but some trains leaving London will no longer stop at Reading, so passengers must check.

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Newbury will see the benefits of electrification and new trains as it gets two fast trains an hour to London Paddington throughout the day, and three trains an hour to Reading.

The Thames Valley branch of national campaigning group Railfuture 'warmly welcomes' the new timetable, but feels the economic powerhouse of Oxfordshire needs a bit more.

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Branch Chairman Richard Stow said: "We are at last seeing better rail services following electrification of GWR's main routes and the introduction of bimodal express trains, with increased seat capacity.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed this superb new timetable works.

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"In the longer term we would like to see four tracks between Didcot and Oxford, and re-doubling of the entire Cotswold line between Oxford and Hanborough.

"A new station is also needed at Wantage/Grove Science Parkway, and re-opening of the Cowley branch to maximise the benefits to all residents and businesses of the county.

"GWR’s new timetable is a big step forward in reducing journey times and adding capacity, if the timetable works as planned, and we welcome it.

"But in the longer term, more investment is still needed to persuade yet more people to switch to rail from the congested roads."