SOUTHERN RAIL’S early morning service from West Sussex to London was named yesterday the most overcrowded, running at more than double its capacity.
Data from the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed that the 7.16am train from East Grinstead to London Bridge is typically rammed with 1,366 people, despite only being designed to hold 640 people — the highest in England and Wales.
The DfT said additional carriages cannot be added to the train but that extra services will be provided next year when the Thameslink Programme is complete.
Other services in the top 10 most overcrowded include the 7.55am from Cambridge to London King’s Cross where on average 426 passengers are crammed into a 202 capacity service.
The 5.08pm from Sutton to St Albans City has a 391 capacity but typically carries 758 passengers and the 6.57am Brighton to Bedford sees 1,215 passengers piling on to the 630 capacity service.
Rail union RMT general secretary Mick Cash told the Star: “The scandal on Britain’s rammed and unreliable trains continues and passengers are sick and tired of being treated like self-loading freight by our rip-off rail companies.
“The only answer is public ownership.”
The figures relate to standard-class ticket holders on weekday services in autumn last year.
Campaign for Better Transport’s Lianna Etkind said: “The latest statistics show that overcrowding continues to make passengers’ lives a misery.
“People are rightly angry that they pay more in fares year after year, but never get a seat, and have to stand crammed into someone else’s armpit.
“With such high levels of overcrowding, the government cannot expect people to pay for yet another fares hike in January.”