Liverpool Street to Shenfield line in top 10 most crowded train journeys in Britain

The Liverpool Street to Shenfield line is in the top 10 most crowded train journeys in Britain, figures released yesterday show.

The 18.17 train departing Liverpool Street, which travels to stations in Redbridge including Ilford and Seven Kings, travelled at 54 per cent over capacity when the Department for Transport (DfT) carried out its study in autumn of last year.

With a passenger capacity of 864 in eight cars, 1,329 commuters actually shared space, an excess of 465, making it the eighth most crowded British journey.

The line was then operated by National Express East Anglia, and is now operated by Greater Anglia.

The DfT said the figures represent a one-off snapshot from autumn 2011 only “and do not provide a guide to current overcrowding”.

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The most crowded train journey in Britain was Henley-on-Thames to London Paddington which was over capacity by 80 per cent.

Michael Roberts, chief executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “Train companies understand passengers’ frustration when they cannot get a seat and operators are taking action where they can.

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“Overall, train companies now run 20 per cent more services a day than they did 15 years ago.”

He said the association had set out plans with Network Rail to to provide nearly 180,000 more seats when services are busiest and called on the government to give operators more flexibility to deal with customer demand.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said: “Since the Greater Anglia franchise began in February, we have made every effort to run each train service to its full capacity and we have also endeavoured to communicate better with customers regarding which peak time services have spare capacity with colour-coded timetable posters displayed at stations and platform zoning.

“These efforts seem to be having a positive effect and the crowding on this service has eased.”

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