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The shame of six

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The 6.13pm service from Euston to Birmingham New Street has been named one of the most overcrowded trains in the country, the Birmingham Mail reported on 28 July. The Passengers in Excess of Capacity (PiXC) figures from the Department for Transport, relate to standard class passengers on weekday services in autumn last year.

'New Street trip makes into crowded league of shame', Birmingham Mail, 2017-07-28

At the time of writing, the 6.13pm EUS – BHM is shown as a short 8-carriage train on the London Midland website, which suggests that crowding arises from a continuing dearth of rolling stock. A ‘shortage of’ or ‘unwillingness to pay for’ more carriages, must lie behind much of the overcrowding in the Midlands and North of England.

South of the Thames, rail overcrowding looks like an altogether more difficult problem, requiring multiple interventions. But if the HS2 project continues, how are these interventions going to be developed and funded?

Unfortunately, analysis of crowding is hampered by the Department for Transport’s refusal to reveal the capacity of commuter trains (their ‘standing allowance’ is a secret).

DfT explanation of PiXC, July 2017

Another oddity is the DfT explanation of PiXC as the ‘overall percentage of passengers that exceed train capacity’. If a train has a capacity of 90 travellers but a load of 100, surely the percentage in excess of capacity would be 11.1%, not “10%”.

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Written by beleben

August 1, 2017 at 9:29 am

Posted in Politics, Railways

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