Southeastern to add an extra 3,500 seats from January 2014

Posted: 26 July 2013 | | No comments yet

Southeastern announced from January 2014 an extra 3,500 seats will be added to its most popular morning peak services…

Southeastern today announced from January 2014 an extra 3,500 seats will be added to its most popular morning peak services. The increase is in response to growing demand for train services in the south east.

Richard Dean, train services director for Southeastern said: “We’ve been working closely with Network Rail on a major programme of works to increase the capacity of our growing network.

“Network Rail is in the final stages of a project to lengthen train platforms and upgrade the track power supply within the south east London ‘Metro’ area to enable us to run up to 24 longer trains next year. This will provide around 3,500 more seats for our passengers.”

Southeastern operates more morning peak services than any other train operator (206 morning peak services). With punctuality performance at best-ever levels, more passengers used Southeastern services over the past year, resulting in a 0.5% increase in demand for its morning peak-services. Train crowding figures released this week by the Department for Transport confirm Southeastern’s management of passenger demand was better than the industry average.

Mr Dean said: “Southeastern has improved punctuality and reliability on this part of the network to best-ever levels, which is attracting record numbers of people to the railway year-on-year. The flip side to this success is more people travelling on some of our more popular peak services.

“We understand that passengers would like a seat every time they travel, but unfortunately this is not always going to be a guarantee at busier times. What we have delivered is an extra 200 services a day to help meet the growing demand, more morning services than any other operator in the UK, and now another 3,500 seats from January,” he said.

“Going forward, we will continue to work closely with Network Rail and the Department for Transport on strategies to further meet the growing demand for our services.”

Mike Smith, Network Rail’s route enhancement manager for Kent, said: “The number of passengers travelling by train continues to grow year-on-year. To accommodate this growth in demand, we are investing in and improving the network to provide an increase in capacity in Kent. Part of this involves lengthening platforms and carrying out resignalling and power upgrades which will allow Southeastern to run longer trains on some of their busiest services. We will continue to work together to shape the railway to help better meet the needs of today’s passengers.”

Southeastern operates over 2200 services each week day using 400 trains. Over 60 percent of the annual 170 million journeys are made within the south east London ‘Metro’ area. The Metro journeys are shorter and more frequent, and much like the London Underground trains are specifically designed to carry more standing passengers to move more people.

Last month 93.2 percent of trains arrived on time* – up from 92.9 percent the previous year and up from 86 percent when Southeastern took over the franchise.

*Arrived on time – the measure of train punctuality also known as PPM (public performance measure) means trains arriving at their destinations within five minutes for commuter services.

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