First Great Western is declassifying the First Class section on its Class 165 diesel multiple units, creating more than 500 additional Standard Class seats between Reading and London Paddington every day.
It follows a lengthy campaign by Reading West MP Alok Sharma to relieve overcrowding on the busy Reading-London corridor. Work on the trains is being carried out at FGW’s Reading traincare depot, and is due to be completed by the end of 2015.
FGW Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “It is still some time before new electric trains will be ready for service. The conversion of these carriages to create more Standard Cass seating is crucial in the interim period.”
The Class 165s are to be sent to the Bristol area and used on services currently without First Class facilities, as part of a wider cascade of trains across the FGW network.