WOKING railway station has been named the best for London commuters, with its service to the capital.

Woking topped a list of 30 of the busiest railway stations that are outside the M25 and within an hour of central London, according to data from performance tracking site On Time Trains.

The rankings were based on four factors – on-time performance, frequency of service, speed of travel and value.

In the first ranking since the pandemic, Woking topped the 2022 leaderboard, jumping 14 places compared to its previous 2018 rank, which made it the station that saw the third biggest improvement out of the 30 on the list.

This followed the results of the On Time Trains analysis that revealed a 69% on-time score, as well as a trip value of 34p per mile and a service frequency every seven minutes.

Guildford station reached ninth on the list.

On Time Trains said Woking's commuter services to Waterloo "remain fast and frequent, with services running every 7 minutes (a modest increase of 1 minute vs 2018) at a speed of 51mph (vs a list average of 42mph).

"Woking's jump to first place is due to the performance improvements of its South Western Railway operated services. Whilst in 2018 it ranked bottom for performance with just 15% of commuter services running on time, in 2022 the on time figure was 69% – not quite top of the performance table, but strong enough for Woking to be crowned best all-round 2022 London commuter station."

And there is a planning proposal that could see high-speed wi-fi installed along the track.

Evo-rail, a company that specialises in 5G coverage, has submitted a planning application for a six-metre tall mast along the track near to the station, to boost network coverage to rail users of the Farnborough, Brookwood, and Woking services to and from Waterloo.

The application, validated by Woking Borough Council on Monday, March 6, is for a tall steel column on Network Rail land adjacent to Cemetery Pales, in Brookwood, to house radio antennae capable of transmitting superfast wifi.

The radio equipment used, Evo-rail’s planning documents say, is based on technology similar to that used in home wi-fi setups but instead the signal is designed to only transmit along the railway track to the passing trains.

According to the application, the minimal safety distance for human exposure to electromagnetic fields is 0.3m for the general public.  

The radio equipment will be placed more than 4m from the ground meaning nobody should be in harm’s range while the radio equipment transmits.

Evo-rail describes itself as the exclusive provider of rail-5G  track-to-train communications that revolutionise passenger connectivity.