01 February 2008

Your carriage awaits - or rather it doesnt


The government have long promised extra carriages for trains as being the answer to over crowding. This week they announced where those extra carriages were going to be allocated. It wont come as a surprise to many that we wont be seeing many down here.

It has emerged that just 52 of the 1,300 extra carriages announced by Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly will go to the embattled train operator First Great Western, which runs services between the city and London. Most of the new rolling stock, 900, will go to London and the South East, while more than 300 of the new carriages will be used to meet the growth in demand in cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

On my last train trip just before Christmas our journey from Exeter to Plymouth on a Virgin train was not too bad. The train was crowded and we couldn't all sit together - but there were seats. On arrival at Plymouth though things changed. The Virgin train ended at Plymouth and anyone wanting to go into Cornwall had to change trains. You had to feel sorry for the hundreds of passengers getting off the Virgin train and walking towards the two carriage train sitting on the platform which was already full to standing.

Even these extra carriages wont be around for some time yet:

A spokeswoman said that the first trains will enter service between 2009 and 2014, as set out in the White Paper.

Its going to be a long wait...

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