Extra 1,300 carriages announced to tackle rail overcrowding

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The Independent Online

The Government today announced plans for an extra 1,300 carriages to be introduced on the UK's rail network in a bid to tackle overcrowding.

Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly said the extra carriages would increase the amount of rolling stock by 10%.



More than 300 of the new carriages will be used to meet the growth in demand in cities such as Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester















Ms Kelly told MPs: "In some areas the extra capacity will be secured through the procurement of new rolling stock and in other areas it will be secured through re-deploying existing rolling stock which is displaced by new."

The re-deployment of existing carriages will mean longer trains can run on busy routes and at peak times.



The Transport Department said the announcement will mean an extra 100,000 seats each day on the busiest parts of the network.



Ms Kelly said the allocation of 1,300 carriages was "an important step forward" which will enable Network Rail to plan changes such as longer platforms at stations.



The 2007 rail White Paper set out plans for the growth of railways over the next 30 years, including a £10 billion investment to increase capacity.



Ms Kelly said: "Passenger numbers have grown by an unprecedented 40% over the last decade.



"We want to create the capacity to support and encourage future growth.



"Over £10 billion will be invested in extra capacity between 2009 and 2014, including investment in major schemes, such as Thameslink."



The DfT said detailed discussions will continue with Network Rail and the train operating companies to ensure the plans "deliver value for money to both passengers and taxpayers".

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