Progress, but no date, for longer trains to West Norfolk

No Caption ABCDE ANL-160224-143002009
No Caption ABCDE ANL-160224-143002009

No date has yet been set for when longer trains will come into service on West Norfolk’s rail line, Friday’s rail summit was told.

Officials had previously indicated that extended services, made up of eight coaches instead of the current four, would be introduced at some point this year.

But, following the talks at Downham’s town hall, South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said she was encouraged by what she had heard, despite the lack of a timetable.

She said: “There has been good progress on longer trains.”

There have been growing calls for longer trains on the line in order to tackle overcrowding.

While some longer units do run on the stretch of track between Lynn and Cambridge at the moment, they do not stop at every station because the platforms are too short.

Borough rail campaigners have indicated they would like to see work carried out to lengthen platforms where necessary, though they accept that is a longer-term project.

One way around the problem would be to use selective locking, which is used on some services in the Midlands.

It works by keeping carriages that are beyond the length of a platform closed when a train stops at a station. Passengers then have to move forward in order to get off the train.

North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said the main concern related to the ease with which a large number of passengers could move forward in order to alight from a service.

But he described the report as “quite positive.”