Southern Region of British Railways in the 1950s and over-crowding

double decker train on southern region 1950s

Anthony Sargeant notes that overcrowding on Southern Region (of what used to be British Railways) is not a new thing. In the 1950s double decker trains were introduced on the Dartford Loop line in an attempt to increase capacity. They were eventually abandoned in the 1960s because they took longer to load and unload passengers. Also the trains were necessarily somewhat taller than standard trains and could only be used on lines without tunnels. 60 years later and Southern Region trains are still overcrowded and instead of addressing that everyday problem the government is committed to an immense ‘Vanity Project’ costing many billions of pounds in building a high speed train line (HS2) which will get passengers from Birmingham to London a few minutes quicker.

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