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Commuter trains to get more seats
12:05pm Friday 20th July 2012 in News
TRAIN passengers will be chuffed with a much better service from Malvern to London from Monday, say rail chiefs.
Commuters travelling between Malvern and London will enjoy InterCity quality trains all day on weekdays, according to operator First Great Western.
This will mean an extra 4,500 seats every weekday.
The pledge came from Mark Hopwood, the company’s managing director, during a special preview run along the Cotswold Line in a Class 180 Adelante train, one of five returning to duty on the route.
The 125mph diesel trains, which ran on the line from 2004 to 2009, are making a comeback to help ease overcrowding on FGW’s network.
FGW stopped using the units three years ago due to technical problems but they have been relaunched and refurbished. Their return will allow Thames Turbo trains better suited to suburban commuter services to be used elsewhere.
Regular commuter and Malvern MP Harriett Baldwin was delighted at the news.
She said: “I’ve already had the pleasure of riding one of these trains on the way back from having lunch with Her Majesty last week.
“They are very comfortable. This is very much to be welcomed.”
District council chairman Paul Tuthill, who takes an interest in rail issues, said: “I think they are a massive improvements on the older diesel multiple units.
It’s clearly a step in the right direction, and people seem to like them.”
Services from Monday to Friday will be operated by high-speed trains, which have seats for 500 or 580 passengers.
Turbos will still be used on several lightlyloaded weekend services.
Mr Hopwood said: “The overhauled Adelantes are looking really good.
“In addition, a number of trains already in use on Cotswold Line services will be extended from seven to eight coaches, giving an extra 80 seats.
“When you add all these changes together, that’s 4,500 extra seats on our services every weekday, a nine per cent increase in capacity in morning and evening rushhours.”
Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the president of the Cotswold Line Promotion Group, said: “I’m sure they are going to be adding to the popularity of the service.”