Prime minister Theresa May has opened a new railway sidings in her Maidenhead constituency.
The £4.5 million sidings have been installed as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and will ease congestion on the railway, allowing Great Western Railway (GWR) to increase its capacity at peak times by introducing a further three new eight-carriage Electrostar trains.
The new Electrostar services were extended from Hayes & Harlington to operate between Maidenhead and London Paddington in May this year at peak times.
The newly-opened sidings have been delivered 18 months early, and electrification between Maidenhead and London Paddington was also completed ahead of time after being funded and delivered by Crossrail. The new sidings will be used by Elizabeth line trains from 2019.
Network rail western route managing director Mark Langman said, ‘It is a real honour to have the prime minister with us to officially open the sidings which will allow more of the fantastic new GWR electric trains to run between Maidenhead and London Paddington.
‘By delivering the sidings 18 months early it allows passengers to enjoy the benefits of electrification and our Railway Upgrade Plan sooner than expected.’