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Hundreds of new carriages bring New Year cheer – and wifi



The next train to depart from platform one… may soon have better wifi and phone charge points as hundreds of new and refurbished carriages hit the network.

Passengers hit by rising fares and poor punctuality have been promised some New Year cheer with what the Rail Delivery Group is calling the “biggest introduction of new trains in decades”.

Between now and 2021, 7,000 new vehicles are being introduced by train companies as part of an industry-wide plan to provide 6,400 extra services each week.

A total of 11 train operators are introducing new carriages in 2019, which will bring about the retirement of some of the oldest trains on the network, first introduced by British Rail in the 1970s.

Passengers are being promised more seats, improved accessibility, mobile phone charging points, wifi and air conditioning.


Train fares increase yet delays continue

Those operators introducing new carriages are the Caledonian Sleeper, Govia Thameslink Railway, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Hull Trains, London North Eastern Railway, London Overground, Northern, Scotrail, South Western Railway, and Trans Pennine Express.

At least £13.8bn is being invested by the private sector in new rolling stock.

Robert Nisbet, regional director of the Rail Delivery Group, told Sky News the new carriages “should mean a better experience for passengers”.

“Not just what they see when they get on board these carriages – more seats, better seats, wifi that actually works, toilets that are also working,” he said.

“It also means the trains should be more punctual as well, because they’ll be newer, fresher rolling stock.

“This is not just in specific pockets around the country, this is all over the country. From Scotland, northern England, London, the South West, Wales as well.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “In the 21st century you should be able to run your business from a train.

“As well as ensuring rail services are reliable and well-maintained, providing decent wifi connections and proper power points is going to be crucial for a modern business that relies on travel.”

Last month, it was announced the price of train tickets will rise by an average of 3.1% in January, just slightly less than the latest wage growth figure of 3.2% for the three months to September.

Meanwhile, train punctuality fell to a 13-year low in the 12 months to December, latest figures showed.

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