Better services into Waterloo?

I attended a meeting with the Chief Executive of Network Rail this week.

He made clear his commitment to improve services and the efficiency of the rail network. He has accepted the case many of us have made that there is insufficient commuter capacity at morning and evening peaks.

He wishes to invest heavily in digital train control, which he thinks will enable more and faster trains on the existing track. Services into Waterloo are a priority for this new wave of investment. He aims to raise capacity into Waterloo by 40% by introducing digital signals. This would be helpful for our local train services on the Waterloo lines. Network Rail is in receipt of very large sums of government grant, so this should be an achievable objective.

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4 Comments

  1. Grumpy Goat
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Sounds great, but digital signalling is decades away “We are building out the digital train control across the whole of the UK by 2029” that is by many industry commentators a very optimistic statement. It will take a huge amount of investment. AS NR is now under treasury control this may not be forthcoming. The European
    Train Control System’ (ETCS) (sorry for using the word European John!) an interim solution, will help, but the digital solution envisaged by the CEO of NR is sometime in the distant future. Me thinks he was fobbing you off a bit.

  2. lojolondon
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, Can I suggest abandoning the 18th century ‘rail’ technology and go with the 21st century ‘superfast broadband’ technology? At least 90% of people could work from home at least one day a week, many communications are free of charge including video-conferencing and they will start to spend more money in their home towns too, eg. lunch at the local instead of a sandwich bar in London. This is also a large part of the argument against HS2. The future, if we embrace it, is more green and far more pleasant, with far less of our lives spent on travel.

    • CdBrux
      Posted September 17, 2015 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      To help enable this via a proper incentive wasn’t there an idea floated a couple of years back for a season ticket holder to have a discount should they only commute 4 days per week instead of 5?

  3. DaveM
    Posted September 16, 2015 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    John, you should be commended for your efforts to hold NR and the ORR to account. So many people will be affected by improvements, but very few will appreciate why the improvements happen!

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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