Latest Rail News

19.12.12

Busiest trains at 180% load

Train operators have been urged to do more to tackle congestion, as the top 10 most over-crowded services is published.

The list was compiled from data collected in Autumn 2011. The highest load factor reported was 180%, and many of the most congested services were, unsurprisingly, at peak times from commuter towns into London.

Transport minister Norman Baker said: “Climbing on a crowded train where there is little space can often be an unpleasant experience and I sympathise with passengers who have to travel on these services.

“The operators on the list are aware of the crowding problems on these particular services. I will be monitoring these services closely, and others which have not made the top 10 list, and urging train companies to reduce crowding on the busiest services.

“Rail has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. That is why we are investing in more carriages, longer trains and better services and funding major projects like HS2, Crossrail and Thameslink, all of which will significantly boost capacity on our rail network.

“It is an important tool to give increased transparency to passengers and help the industry act to improve journeys.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, said: “Faster trains and better services are attracting record numbers of people to the railways, but the flipside is overcrowding on some routes.

“Train companies understand passengers' frustration when they cannot get a seat and operators are taking action where they can. The DfT’s statement highlights the steps operators have taken to increase capacity or where they plan to introduce extra services. Overall, train companies now run 20% more services a day than they did 15 years ago.

“But train companies also depend on others to tackle overcrowding. That is why we set out plans last year with Network Rail to provide nearly 180,000 more seats when services are busiest and why we need government to give operators more flexibility to respond to passenger demand.”

The top ten most crowded services were:

1. 07:44 from Henley on Thames to London Paddington – load factor 180%

2. 07:32 from Woking to London Waterloo – load factor 164%

3. 18:13 from London Euston to Birmingham New Street – load factor 162%

4. 16:48 from London Euston to Birmingham New Street – load factor 160%

5. 06:30 from Banbury to London Paddington – load factor 158%

6. 07:55 from Stourbridge Junction to Stratford-upon-Avon – load factor 157%

7. 06:23 from Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough – load factor 155%

8. 18:17 from London Liverpool Street to Shenfield – load factor 154%

9. 07:14 from Alton to London Waterloo – load factor 152%

10. 17:46 from London Euston to Birmingham New Street – load factor 152%

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Image c. Alvey & Towers

Comments

JOHN   22/12/2012 at 10:00

Force the operators to add extral coaches on their trains and if they refuse, fine them heavily! Some of these trains are 2 or 4 car DMU or EMU sets,so adding sets to double or treble capacity shouldn't be a problem. However, it is all down to costs and the toc's will not strengthen trains unless forced to do so.

Jim Webster   30/12/2012 at 18:45

The number 1 over crowded is the First great Western service from Henley on Thames to London Paddington. First group profess to be able to cut over crowding on WCML yet can't achieve this on their own network. Another bit of proof the Govt isn't interested in passengers when it comes to Rail franchises but to the back handers and profit they can make to fund their expenses.

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