Letter: Seats on the train

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The Independent Culture
Sir: In your article "Day at sea for sardines of Leicester" (10 August) you describe the experience of Mr and Mrs Burrows who went to Skegness by rail and found their train to be overcrowded. You quoted me as saying, "If we had extra carriages we would put them on. But we have no slack."

Your reporter failed to use the rest of my quote: "The only practical way to tackle overcrowding is to buy more trains. We are buying 33 new Turbostar trains at a cost of pounds 74m. The first has just entered service and the last will roll out of the factory by the middle of next year. This is a major investment to help alleviate overcrowding."

You also suggest that these things were better managed in the past. You should remember, however, that British Rail (certainly in its later years) tended to tackle overcrowding by putting the fares up to price customers off the train.


Communications Manager

Central Trains Limited