Delays to extra Reading to Waterloo train carriages

Refurbished train carriage
Image caption The first 36 refurbished carriages will enter service in March

Work to increase capacity on trains from Reading to Waterloo is running nine months behind schedule, South West Trains (SWT) has admitted.

SWT had planned to refurbish 60 old carriages from the Gatwick Express service to create 20,000 more rush hour seats by March. Only 36 are expected to enter service next month.

The company has blamed the delay on sub-contractors Alstom.

Alstom said the work had been "much more challenging" than it anticipated.

South West Trains said: "We are very frustrated that delays by the contractors mean our customers have yet to see the benefit of the extra capacity."

A spokesman for Alstom Piers Wood said the difficulties with the work had occurred as the train carriages had not been used for a number of years.

Most South West Train services to Reading currently have eight carriages, but following the upgrade, they will have 10.

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