30 January, 2008 – Greater Manchester transport chief welcomes new train carriages
The Chair of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) has welcomed news that more carriages will be added to the region's trains.
The Chair of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) has welcomed news that more carriages will be added to the region’s trains. The Department for Transport (DfT) today announced plans to introduce more than 300 extra carriages on services run by the region’s main rail operators.
Northern Rail has been allocated 182 and First TransPennine Express 42, while services on the West Coast Mainline will be boosted by a further 106 carriages.
Each additional carriage will provide up to 100 extra spaces for passengers – 70 seated, 30 standing – and they will be rolled out up to 2014.
Councillor Roger Jones, Chair of GMPTA, said: "We have a very real problem with overcrowding on trains in Greater Manchester – some services are running at 175 per cent capacity.
"So I’m delighted to hear we’re going to get a share of more than 300 new carriages, which is the best allocation outside of London.
"Just how many of these carriages will run on local services is yet to be decided. We will continue to talk with the Department for Transport and operators to ensure we receive the maximum number of vehicles possible, as soon as possible so people can use the railways in comfort and safety."
A report about improving rail capacity in the short-term was presented to the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) on Friday 25th January.
Lord Peter Smith, Leader of AGMA, said: "I welcome today’s announcement of extra carriages which should make a real difference to overcrowding on our trains in the long-term.
"In the meantime, we will continue to work with operators and the Department for Transport to ease overcrowding by securing short-term leases on any rolling stock that becomes available – subject to funding.
"By working together, we will find answers to the problem of overcrowding."
The launch of the ‘Rolling Stock Plan’ today follows on from last year’s White Paper – Delivering a Sustainable Railway. It promised 1,300 extra carriages and set out plans to increase capacity to carry over 180 million more passengers over the next seven years – growth of more than 20%.
Source: GMPTA press release