Extra carriages ‘within weeks’ on busy rail line

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EXPRESS rail services between Sheffield and Manchester will have 50 per cent more seats by December to ease overcrowding.

East Midlands Trains, which operates one of two fast services between the cities each hour is receiving eight extra coaches.

The news means its service, which runs from Liverpool to Norwich and also serves Dronfield and Chesterfield, will have four-carriage trains instead of two on the majority of journeys Mondays to Fridays and some on Saturdays and Sundays.

The service currently suffers severe overcrowding.

First TransPennine Express operates the other hourly Sheffield to Manchester service. It uses three-carriage trains but one is first class.

The extra carriages means there will usually be six standard class carriages between Sheffield and Manchester each hour instead of four.

One passenger, who catches the East Midlands Trains service when commuting from Dronfield to Sheffield, said: “I have given up trying to catch one of the morning trains. In the evening, trains are sometimes so busy passengers have been left behind to wait for the next service.

“The extra carriages are great news.”

A Department for Transport said the carriages, which are coming from another company, were due to be delivered to East Midlands Trains earlier in the year.

A spokesman said: “There was a delay in new trains being manufactured for the other company before the carriages could be released to East Midlands Trains.”

An East Midlands Trains spokeswoman said: “We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of these additional trains which will help us to provide some much needed extra capacity.”