If you commute into London each morning, make sure you have a comfy pair of shoes with you – you'll be spending most of your time standing up once the government's new German-built Siemens commuter trains are introduced.
The “Class 700” trains will start running from 2016 along the Thameslink and Great Northern routes, carrying passengers into the capital from areas such as Cambridge, Brighton and Bedford.
The 115 trains are costing the government £1.6bn to build, and will be operated by Govia Thameslink Railway. The aim is to take larger numbers of people into London each morning via a more frequent service. The trains are also longer, so there will be greater capacity.
But government data has shown that three out of every five passengers will have to stand up on the new 12-carriage trains, since there will be just 666 seats available for the 1,754 passengers able to fit into one train. On the eight-carriage trains there will be 427 seats for 1,146 passengers.
This means more commuters will have to stand, since the trains currently in operation along these routes are able to seat around 50 per cent of those on board.
“The seating and standing capacity of the 700s was specified by the Department for Transport in 2009. [It] ensures people can get on and off in under 30 seconds in central London, where new trains will run every two to three minutes in each direction. Our franchise plans to deliver 50 per cent more carrying capacity,” Thameslink and Great Northern said.