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Thameslink

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many additional seats will be available for passengers travelling between Bedford and London St. Pancras International stations during the morning peak period on completion of the Thameslink programme. (299199)

The Department for Transport is currently evaluating bids for the new fleet of trains that will operate on the Thameslink network. The new trains will be highly reliable and designed to provide an enhanced passenger environment, including air conditioning, state of the art passenger information, and will be fully accessible for mobility impaired passengers.

The actual number of seats on the trains will be determined when the winning bidder is confirmed, but a new 12 car train will offer at least an additional 70 seats over the usual eight car trains operating from Bedford to St. Pancras International. The new trains will have a significantly higher overall capacity compared to the existing rolling stock.

The overall additional seats offered during the peak period will be determined by the exact train service that will operate. This will be determined closer to the completion of the overall programme.