Rail commuters’ squeeze to ease

Train passengers using the busiest services from Manchester and Liverpool will benefit from extra carriages being made available to Northern Rail, First Great Western and London Midland from December 2011.

There will be an extra 2,103 seating and standing spaces made available each day on services through Manchester and 150 in Liverpool.

The government announced the investment in 32 train carriages today in a measure that will also benefit key commuter services in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle.

Northern Rail will get 22 extra train carriages, First Great Western six and an additional four carriages will go to London Midland. The government plans to introduce 2,700 new rail carriages on to the network by May 2019.

The department for transport said: "The extra carriages, which will be in service from December 2011, are becoming available as a result of the planned deployment of 69 new train carriages which are being delivered to London Midland for use in the Birmingham area. This then allows for the carriages currently being used by London Midland to serve passengers using Northern Rail and First Great Western services. Consequently some First Great Western trains are to be released to serve Northern Rail passengers."

The total cost of this investment is £16.7m. This covers the net cost of additional passenger services until the end of each franchise.

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