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Thameslink route ready for 12 car trains

The final platform extensions which are needed to allow 50% longer 12-car trains to operate on the Bedford to Brighton Thameslink route from next month have been completed at Flitwick and Harlington stations.

Over the last four years, Network Rail has lengthened 41 platforms at 12 stations on the Midland main line between Bedford and West Hampstead. The longer platforms will enable the busiest trains at the busiest times of the day to be increased from eight cars to 12, resulting in a 50% boost in capacity on those services.

“The completion of the platform extensions marks a major milestone in the Thameslink construction programme and will allow longer trains to run from next month as planned,” said Network Rail major programme director for Thameslink Jim Crawford. “As well as more seats and less congestion at the busiest times of the day, passengers have more to look forward to next year with the new stations at Blackfriars and Farringdon opening. This will provide a huge improvement to facilities and access at these two important London stations.”

First Capital Connect will lengthen its first services from eight to 12 carriages on 12 December this year. There will be three in the morning rush hour from Bedford and one service from Brighton with the same number home again in the evening.

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