Rail firms get set for Paralympics

OXFORDSHIRE'S train operators are getting ready for another surge in passenger numbers during the Paralympics.

First Great Western handled about 10,000 extra passengers per day at London Paddington during the 17 days of the Olympics, with 7,500 per day passing through Slough and Maidenhead stations to attend the rowing and canoeing events at Eton Dorney. Chiltern Railways provided 238,000 extra seats and carried almost 800,000 people into London over the fortnight.

Both companies will provide thousands of extra seats during the Paralympics and special late-night trains will run to get spectators home from London, as well as extra early-morning trains into London on both Sundays during the games.

The operators are warning passengers that because the Paralympics, which open today and run until Sunday, September 9, straddle the end of the school holidays and many commuters’ return to work, services are expected to be extremely busy, even during off-peak periods.

FGW is also advising spectators heading to the Paralympics rowing from Friday until Sunday that shuttle buses to Eton Dorney will only operate from Slough station, not Maidenhead.

CrossCountry trains between Banbury, Oxford and the South Coast are also expected to be very busy during the Paralympic sailing races at Weymouth.
Several trains which normally run to and from Bournemouth will be extended to and from Weymouth from Saturday until Thursday, September 6.

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