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Flexible seating plans for West Midlands

London Midland Class 172s at Birmingham Moor Street on March 26 2015. RICHARD CLINNICK.

Bidders for the West Midlands franchise will be able to remove seats from trains providing they meet certain criteria, Rail Minister Paul Maynard confirmed in a Commons Written Reply to Shadow Transport Secretary Andy McDonald on October 17.

Maynard said: “The Invitation to Tender for the West Midlands franchise allows bidders to propose alternative layouts which could include fewer seats and more standing space for services which operate on the ‘Cross-City’ line in Birmingham.

“This option is included in response to the West Midlands franchise consultation, where there was a particularly strong response from respondents that use this line about changing the current 3+2 seating arrangement to provide wider aisles and more spacious and comfortable standing areas.”

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  • Gary - 26/10/2016 09:46

    Just provide more units to make all trains 6 car instead of 3. Simples!

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    • BigTone - 26/10/2016 12:27

      My thoughts, the sister units are supposed to be coming from Manchester some time

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  • bob - 26/10/2016 16:11

    rest of the 323 emu not coming to midlands before January 2019 according to London midland on Wikipedia page

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 27/10/2016 01:36

      That's because Northern Trains and Transpennine Express are ordering new trains and are to be delivered at around 2018/2019 and 2020-throughout.

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      • Chris - 28/10/2016 09:51

        Why are new trains for Northern supposedly coming only after 2020? Is it that important that your beloved Greater Anglia gets new trains first?

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        • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 28/10/2016 12:24

          Yes because passengers who use Greater Anglia want new trains with extra seats, air-conditioning, wi-fi, charging points and many more. And the Class 90's, Class 321's and Class 317's are getting old and are due to be replaced in 3 years. With Class 153's and Class 156's that could be cascading to East Midlands Trains or Abellio ScotRail or London Midland or any train operator that wants extra trains and the Class 317's and Class 321's could be cascaded to South Wales along with Class 315's after the electrification is completed. Or Class 317's could be cascaded to Arriva Trains Wales along with Class 315's and Class 321's could be used elsewhere or to be scrapped. Depends if the Class 321's and Class 317's could be heading to scrap or used as Mk3 carriages.

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          • Chris - 29/10/2016 12:49

            Are Greater Anglia passengers more important than any other? Northern's average fleet age is far older than that of Greater Anglia, not to mention that we have far more life-expired diesels up here. And why does ScotRail need more diesels when they've already got some going spare?

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 27/10/2016 01:32

    I do think it's a battle between not just Govia/Go-Ahead but also National Express, First, Abellio, Arriva and other bidders who are willing to take over the West Midlands rail franchise and to provide more extra seats and extra services with more trains to be used including Former LU D78's (Converted Class 230's) that could work on the Coventry-Nuneaton line and could also replace the Class 139's used on Stourbridge Junction-Town line and cascaded Class 350/4's that are to be replaced by Class 397's could also work alongside other Class 350's and more Class 153's & Class 156's could be used on Bletchley-Bedford line (despite the proposed reopening of the East-West Rail) and few more Class 319's to be used on semi-fast commuter services including operating a 2tph on the Watford Junction-St Albans Abbey line with a new passing loop tonne built at Bricket Wood to allow 2 trains to pass each other with one heading to Watford Junction and the other heading to St Albans Abbey to improve a better service on the Abbey line.

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  • FrankH - 03/11/2016 12:03

    " where there was a particularly strong response from respondents that use this line about changing the current 3+2 seating arrangement to provide wider aisles and more spacious and comfortable standing areas.” And how do you get a more comfortable standing area, cushion flooring?

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