Customers Set to Benefit From Extra Carriages

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First Capital Connect customers are set to benefit from new carriages, longer and more frequent trains as well as a greater choice of destinations due to changes to franchise agreements agreed between the Department for Transport.

The changes we are making are part of the £5.5bn Thameslink programme, which will deliver a dramatic increase in capacity for passengers in London and the South East.

First Capital Connect customers are set to benefit from new carriages, longer and more frequent trains as well as a greater choice of destinations due to changes to franchise agreements agreed between the Department for Transport.

The changes are a key milestone in the wider £5.5bn Thameslink modernisation programme and mean that passengers will see:

  • Increased frequency - the number of trains running through central London on the Thameslink route will increase from 8 up to 15 per hour during peak hours from 1 March 2009;
  • New trains - 92 new class 377 carriages - worth around £100m - are on order, which will be deployed on First Capital Connect services between Bedford, London and Brighton and Southeastern services between St Pancras International and Bromley South, Orpington and other Kent stations from March 2009;
  • Extra seats on First Capital Connect - the introduction of additional class 319 carriages will boost more peak services to 8-car length on the First Capital Connect Thameslink route. With the class 377 and class 319 carriages, there will be an additional 1150 seats in the morning peak and 2080 seats in the evening peak on First Capital Connect services from March 2009.
  • More direct journeys - from March 2009, some Southeastern services will join First Capital Connect Thameslink route services, meaning passengers can travel between Sevenoaks, St Pancras International and stations in north London without changing trains.

Rail Minister Tom Harris MP said:"We are committed to improving the travelling experience for passengers on one of the country's busiest rail routes. That's why we have secured a range of improvements, from more frequent train services, to newer trains and more seats that Thameslink passengers will benefit from for years to come."

"The changes we are making are part of the £5.5bn Thameslink programme, which will deliver a dramatic increase in capacity for passengers in London and the South East."

Notes to Editor
1. The franchise changes are part of the wider Thameslink modernisation programme. The £5.5bn Thameslink modernisation programme will transform the Thameslink network by 2015. The programme will deliver:

  • Up to 50 per cent longer trains across the current Thameslink route;
  • New direct services from the southern Home Counties to destinations on the Thameslink and Great Northern routes;
  • A dramatic increase in capacity, with up to 12 carriage trains running up to 24 times an hour through central London by 2015;
  • New trains across the Thameslink route - there will be an entirely new fleet of trains by 2015, with extra carriages providing around 14,500 extra seats each day for passengers;
  • Three London mainline stations, Blackfriars, Farringdon and London Bridge stations, will be improved, giving the stations the capacity to handle more passengers and easing bottlenecks.
  • Blackfriars station will become the first station to span the Thames and by the end of 2011 the station will be able to handle 12 car trains for the first time.
  • Platform extensions at 50 stations outside central London, including stations along the Bedford line.

First Capital Connect's extra class 319 carriages form part of FCC's current franchise agreement.

  • Visit firstcapitalconnect.co.uk for information or to book a train to St Pancras or any of our other desitinations.

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