UK Prime Minister Theresa May has officially opened a new £4.5m railway siding in Maidenhead that will enable Great Western Railway (GWR) to increase the frequency of train services, especially during the peak times.
The installation of the sidings was carried out by Network Rail under its Railway Upgrade Plan.
The sidings will decrease congestion on the line and allow GWR to introduce an additional three eight-carriage Electrostar trains, which in turn will improve passenger experience.
May stated: “It is great to see that this vital work, which will increase capacity and improve services for passengers, has been completed ahead of schedule.
“Improving peak-time services between Maidenhead and London is one of my priorities as an MP, and it is good news for the town that we are making such progress.”
The new Electrostar services were previously extended from Hayes & Harlington in May, allowing the trains to operate between Maidenhead and London Paddington during peak hours.
A total of eight eight-carriage electric trains will be operating on the line, replacing the current five and six carriage diesel vehicles.
Network Rail completed the £4.5m project 18 months ahead of the schedule.
Network Rail route managing director Mark Langman said: “By delivering the sidings 18 months early, it allows passengers to enjoy the benefits of electrification and our Railway Upgrade Plan sooner than expected.”
The electrification between Maidenhead and London Paddington was also completed ahead of time after procuring necessary investment by the Crossrail project.
The new sidings will be used by Elizabeth line trains from 2019.
Image: UK PM Theresa May opens railway sidings for new electric services. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.