Local MP Maria Miller recently visited the Network Rail Operating Centre at Gresley Road in Basingstoke. Maria was met by Stewart Firth, Director of Route Sponsorship for the Wessex Route, who briefed her on the recent upgrades to Waterloo Station and the increase in rail capacity that flows from that. He also outlined further proposals for improvement in capacity on the mainline to Waterloo for which Network Rail is hoping to secure funding.
Maria was also given a tour of the Control Centre, from which Network Rail monitors and directs all rail movements into and out of Waterloo for the south western region.
Maria said: “It was great to see this fantastic new facility, which represents £45 million of investment in Basingstoke, and 300 jobs. It was fascinating to see the Control Centre and to hear about the interventions that rail controllers in Basingstoke can make to smooth rail traffic on the mainline for example when there are technical problems with a train, or where an incident occurs.”
“I was also pleased to hear about the improvements in capacity. As all regular rail users in Basingstoke know very well, increased capacity on the mainline to Waterloo is badly needed – not just in the peak hours, but in the shoulder period too.”