Bigger trains to help cut overcrowding on busy line

RAIL PLANS: Nick Donovan from Transpennine Express
RAIL PLANS: Nick Donovan from Transpennine Express
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Shoppers and commuters are set to benefit from a £60m rail project which will see increased services and a new timetable across the North of England.

The scheme, by Transpennine Express, sees a new non-stop express service running between Manchester and Preston at 5.15pm during the week, reducing travel times for commuters.

There will also be 10 new electric trains which, along with the new timetables, will create an extra 90,000 seats across the network.

Extra carriages on trains to Manchester, the Lake District and Scotland at the weekends will aim to reduce overcrowding for shoppers and visitors.

FTPE managing director, Nick Donovan said: “Tomorrow marks the culmination of a two-year programme of new trains development that will improve passenger capacity and the customer experience across the north of England and into Scotland.

“The biggest piece of feedback we receive from customers is the need to improve capacity and I am delighted that the new timetable will mean we will be able to offer an additional 90,000 seats a week across our network.

“It is great news for Preston with significant increases in capacity and more journey options.

“We are also introducing new routes and reducing journey times on many key commutes, benefits that I’m sure our customers will appreciate.”

The 10 new Class 350s were designed, built and delivered on time by Siemens and will be in full customer service when the timetable changes on Sunday.

They will operate between Manchester and Scotland, via Wigan providing a 62 per cent increase in capacity on that route.