People travelling to London from Uckfield should soon find more space on trains.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR,) which takes over the franchise next summer, reveals plans to give passengers vital extra capacity on the Uckfield to London Bridge line by deploying 12 additional carriages of Class 170 diesel trains.
The non-electrified Uckfield line is operated by Southern, which will become part of the GTR franchise in July 2015.
Southern has been unable to lengthen trains on this busy route because no additional diesel trains were available to lease. Now GTR has secured these extra trains it will be possible to lengthen more services to their current maximum length of eight carriages once the new trains have been overhauled.
GTR is working with Network Rail to ensure platforms are extended at the earliest opportunity at Uckfield, Buxted, Crowborough, Eridge, Ashurst, Cowden, Hever and Edenbridge Town so that services can then be lengthened still further, to 10 carriages.
Charles Horton, Chief Executive Officer for GTR said: “The Uckfield line has seen phenomenal growth in the past decade as a result of the introduction of modern trains and improved services. GTR is really pleased to announce this deal to bring in additional carriages, which, once overhauled, will begin to give people along this route the service and the extra capacity they have been calling for.”
A typical off-peak service from the town is one train per hour to London Bridge, calling at Buxted, Crowborough and stations to London Bridge, reduced to an hourly shuttle to Oxted on Sundays. ,