PASSENGERS suffering cramped conditions along the TransPennine and London Midland rail networks will receive some much-needed relief next year when 80 extra train carriages are added to overcrowded services.
The Government said more than 6,000 extra seats would be available each day on rail journeys into Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh when new carriages are deployed in December 2013.
Many of the extra carriages in Yorkshire will not be new stock, however. Rather, they will be redeployed from west coast services when new carriages are introduced between Manchester and Glasgow, following the electrification of part of that line.
Nonetheless, with well documented problems of severe overcrowding on commuter trains in and around Leeds and Sheffield, any extra seats will be warmly welcomed by regular rail users.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones, who works in the Department for Transport, said: “This is great news for passengers who will get faster, longer trains and more seats.
“Our rail infrastructure needs major investment and I am pleased to see that the Government is prioritising spending on infrastructure projects.
“These projects help our economy grow and represent a good investment of scarce resources.”
First TransPennine Express will receive 40 new carriages on the Manchester to Scotland route, following the electrification of the line between Manchester and the West Coast Main Line south of Wigan. The new carriages will enable existing diesel rolling stock to be redeployed across the franchise.
London Midland will also receive 40 new carriages next year.
The Government said the new carriages are part of wider plans to introduce 2,700 carriages onto the rail network by 2019.