Plans for £210 million worth of new trains on some of the busiest commuter routes have moved forward after South West Trains (SWT) announced its intention to award the contract for 30 new five-carriage trains to manufacturer Siemens and leasing company Angel Trains.
The new Desiro City trains will boost capacity on SWT routes in and out of London's Waterloo station. Eventually, peak-time daily passenger numbers will increase by 24,000.
The first of the new carriages will begin arriving in 2017 and will all be in service by early 2018.
Around 140 jobs will be created as a result of the order.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said: "More passengers are travelling on our railways than ever before and, to meet the demand for extra seats and services, over £38 billion will be spent on the railways during the next five years."