A new report by the UK Department of Transport has revealed that the country’s passenger train services were overcrowded by up to 86% last year, with more than 1.7 billion journeys completed.
The top ten most crowded train services in Wales and England were over their capacity by 58% to 86%, with the Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport service operated by TransPennine Express topping the list.
The annual report has prompted the government to reiterate its plan to increase the seating capacity, and services across the rail network.
The government’s programmes including the Intercity Express (IEP) and Thameslink are expected to create 3,700 extra carriages across the UK by the end of 2019.
An investment of approximately £38bn is being made in the rail transportation network of the country in the next five years.
Rail minister Claire Perry said: "I know how frustrated customers are with overcrowding, and I expect the rail industry, including operators, to continue to develop innovative proposals to meet the capacity challenge head-on."
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Larger trains will be operated on the Great Western Line from 2017 under the IEP, and on the East Coast Mainline from 2018.
The Thameslink programme will add 30,000 more seats between Blackfriars and St Pancras International, and 2,500 from Bedford to London.
The IEP replaces 40-year-old, high-speed, diesel-powered fleets throughout the UK, while Thameslink operates services to and from London between Bedford and Brighton via Luton and Gatwick Airport, and between Luton/St Albans/Kentish Town and Wimbledon/Sutton/Sevenoaks.
Image: The interior of a new Hitachi train for IEP. Photo: courtesy of ImagesUnite / Hitachi.