Express name marks Royston upgrade completion
By: Gareth Bayer
A ceremony at Royston station, which saw the naming of EMU 365506, celebrates improvements to Royston’s rail service.
ROYSTON DIGNITARIES TURNED out on February 4th to celebrate the introduction of thousands of extra seats to the town’s First Capital Connect rail services. First Capital Connect MD Neal Lawson welcomed town, district and county councillors to the ceremony.
Local MP Oliver Heald named a Class 365 EMU No. 365 506 The Royston Express, in recognition of two new non-stop 12-carriage evening services that were created shortly before Christmas from King’s Cross to Royston. At the same time, Town Mayor Councillor Martin Beaver cut a ribbon on the northbound platform that Network Rail has extended to allow the longer trains to call there.
FCC MD Neal Lawson said: “First Capital Connect is delighted to have 41 extra carriages that allow us to operate extra, faster services and new evening trains to Royston half as long again as those we had run before, giving townspeople 2,350 more rush hour seats every day.”
Fiona Dolman, Network Rail’s Customer Relationship Executive, said: “The platform extensions at Royston have made a real difference to passengers, allowing 12-car trains travelling to and from the capital to call at the station. This marks a significant milestone as we continue to explore ways to increase capacity across the rail network.”
MP Oliver Heald said: “I have worked closely with First Capital Connect to support their plan to run extra services and longer trains, giving Royston travellers many more seats every day to ease overcrowding. I also thank Network Rail. This is great news and I am delighted to name this train The Royston Express.”
Town Mayor Councillor Beaver said: “This is very welcome news for all the commuters of Royston and the surrounding area. Overcrowding has been a major problem for a number of years I am overjoyed to see that it is being address and hope that it will now encourage more people to use our rail system in the future. ”
The longer trains were part of a wider set of improvements introduced through a scheme jointly developed by First Capital Connect and the Department for Transport with NR.
In May 2009, this added 20 carriages to the Great Northern route, which gave Royston over 1,500 more seats, mostly in the morning rush hour, while December 2010 saw another 41 carriages on the route. And in years to come, new Thameslink route trains will provide direct services across the heart of London.
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