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No relief in sight for region’s overcrowded trains

April 11, 2010

Bad news for local rail users as more details of the Department for Transport’s watered-down plans to ease over-crowding in Manchester have emerged.

After promising 182 extra carriages to Northern Rail and 42 for TransPennine Express less than 2 years ago, the reality is turning out to be a massive let-down.

In a year’s time – May 2011 – Northern Rail will finally receive 16 second-hand carriages from London Midland trains, and 4 Pacer sets will return from load to First Great Western. However the large class 180 trains currently used on Northern’s Victoria to Blackpool services will disappear back to East Coast trains.

Further announcements are possible throughout the year ahead but it seems clear there is no prospect of noticeable respite to the region’s severely overcrowded trains for years ahead.

In some parts of the country train operators (Northern included) have conjured up extra capacity by using ex-BR carriages and locomotives (actually quite a popular arrangement with passengers) but so far there has been no sign of Northern intending to use an option like this in our area.

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