Train service running at 50 per cent above capacity

PUBLISHED: 17:14 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:31 06 May 2010

SOME train services into London on First Capital Connect (FCC) are running at more than 50 per cent above capacity, according to Government figures. The Department for Transport (DfT) reported that the line, which serves commuters travelling from and fro

SOME train services into London on First Capital Connect (FCC) are running at more than 50 per cent above capacity, according to Government figures.

The Department for Transport (DfT) reported that the line, which serves commuters travelling from and from St Albans, Harpenden and Radlett, was one of the 10 most overcrowded in Britain.

The figures were drawn from a survey carried out on the 8.55am from Bedford to Brighton service, which is currently a four-car train with 277 seats.

On that day it held 418 people - 51 per cent more than its capacity.

But a spokesperson for FCC insisted that the future is much brighter for commuters, many of whom liken the service to a "cattle truck".

He explained that as part of the Thameslink Programme, 23 new trains would be introduced on the line from next March to increase capacity. This would see the 8.55am train from Bedford doubling in size with eight carriages.

The spokesperson added: "Over the past two years, the number of customers using rail travel has reached an all-time high, both regionally and nationally. We are well aware of overcrowding and in the past two years have pushed hard for extra capacity for our customers. On the Thameslink Route we have been able to introduce seven extra four car trains into service which has helped cope with growth in demand.

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