Overcrowded trains

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Arriva Trains, three coach train at Cardiff

Either last week or this week (depending on where you live) has been half-term. That means there are more children looking for things to do; they visit attractions, go shopping, meet up with their friends and a host of other things.

In order to do this they travel be it by bus, train, the family taxi service or by Shank’s pony.

Many choose to use the train as I found it when I caught a train from Swansea to Cardiff earlier this week. The normal three coach train was crowded with people standing for some of the journey.

The dates for half-terms and holiday times are set well in advance so why can’t train companies add additional seating space to remove passenger complaints during this busy period?

Train companies might respond by saying they have only a limited number of train units and finding extra carriages is not easy. I would find this an unacceptable answer as, with planning, this could be overcome.

If Passenger Focus undertook its passenger surveys during half term time I would be prepared to bet that satisfaction ratings would decline. Because most half-terms last just a week or a fortnight in some places, train companies might have decided to reap extra income that week and live with any overcrowding.

Why should this continue?

As train passenger numbers grow, railway companies will have to more flexible. Just as airlines operate algorithms to look at passenger bookings and run larger or smaller planes at different times of the day, train companies should adapt their passenger analysis so that something like additional coaches can be added at peak times.

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