Rail commuters promised longer peak-hour trains next year

PUBLISHED: 15:09 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

FIRST Capital Connect is offering hope to its beleaguered peak-time travellers with a promise of extra carriages on the Bedford to Brighton line next year. The company is receiving four additional dual-voltage trains which can run on the Thameslink line n

FIRST Capital Connect is offering hope to its beleaguered peak-time travellers with a promise of extra carriages on the Bedford to Brighton line next year.

The company is receiving four additional dual-voltage trains which can run on the Thameslink line next month with another four in the spring - the last of the country's class 319 fleet of four-carriage units.

But next year FCC will be taking delivery of an extra 92 newly-built class 377 air-conditioned Electrostar carriages which should offer new standards of comfort on the line.

The dual-voltage trains and the 377s are both part of complex sub-leasing arrangements FCC has with Southern.

A spokesperson explained: "In short, it means that by Spring 2009, we will have doubled the length from four to eight carriages on 19 separate peak-hour train services.

"It means that all morning peak-hour services will be eight carriages long - the maximum length until platforms are lengthened under the Thameslink Programme - and just six of our evening peak-hour services will be four carriages in length."

He pointed out that those would be either side of the busiest times, during the so-called "shoulder peak".

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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