Minister launches new bigger trains
Monday 12 December 2011
The first set of new 12-carriage trains on a busy commuter route ran
today, with a Government minister helping to launch the service.
Rail Minister Theresa Villiers rode in the driver's cab on a First Capital Connect (FCC) train from St Pancras to Farringdon station in the City of London.
To the relief of FCC bosses waiting to greet her, Ms Villiers' train was bang on time.
But another Bedford-bound FCC train was 11 minutes late during the rush-hour - due to the late arrival of a crew member.
The 12-carriage trains were able to run on the Bedford to Brighton line due to the extension of platforms as part of the £6 billion Thameslink project which will be completed in 2018.
Passengers, including Ms Villiers, who arrived at Farringdon today were able to sample the new ticket hall, part of a massive transformation of the station which also serves the London Underground.
Ms Villiers said: "These longer carriages will make a real difference to commuters travelling on these busy routes.
"The Thameslink project is a key part of our massive programme of rail improvements."
The longer trains are providing FCC passengers with an extra 3,200 seats a day.
Ms Villiers was asked about a report that the commercial director of the East Coast train company - run in the public sector - took seven plane journeys last year between London and Scotland even though he could have used his own company's trains on the route.
Ms Villiers said: "I am not going to comment on personal travel arrangements. East Coast has put in a huge effort on this line and has been hit by problems, including cable theft. It's important that East Coast performance improves."
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...