Britain's most overcrowded train services revealed

An early morning train service from West Sussex to London is the most overcrowded in England and Wales, new figures show.

Southern Railway's 7.16am train from East Grinstead to London Bridge typically has 1,366 people rammed into a dozen carriages designed for just 640, Department for Transport (DfT) data shows.

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This is a load factor of 213% - higher than any other service.

The DfT said additional carriages cannot be added to the train but when the Thameslink Programme is completed next year there will be extra services on routes south of London to boost capacity.

Other jam-packed journeys making the top 10 overcrowded list include the 6.57am Brighton to Bedford, the 7.55am Cambridge to London King's Cross and the 4pm Manchester Airport to Edinburgh.

The figures relate to standard class passengers on weekday services in autumn last year.

The average proportion of passengers carried in excess of capacity on peak services in major cities was 3.8%.

Lianna Etkind, of the Campaign for Better Transport, 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."

Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Continuing to invest in new trains, better frequency, track capacity and improved signalling will ultimately give passengers a better chance of getting a seat or at least stand in some comfort.

"In return for continuing fare rises passengers expect continued investment and improvement."

:: Here are the most overcrowded trains in England and Wales (figures in brackets represent their most crowded point):

1. 7.16am East Grinstead to London Bridge (640 capacity and 1,366 passengers carried)

2. 7.55am Cambridge to London King's Cross (202 capacity and 426 passengers carried)

3. 5.08pm Sutton to St Albans City (391 capacity and 758 passengers carried)

4. 6.57am Brighton to Bedford (630 capacity and 1,215 passengers carried)

5. 4pm Manchester Airport to Edinburgh (191 capacity and 357 passengers carried)

6. 7.27am Reigate to London Bridge (669 capacity and 1,233 passengers carried)

7. 5.18pm London Paddington to Oxford (242 capacity and 445 passengers carried)

8. 4.22am Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport (191 capacity and 344 passengers carried)

9. 4.26pm Bedford to Brighton (372 capacity and 669 passengers carried)

10. 6.13pm London Euston to Birmingham New Street (412 capacity and 729 passengers carried)

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: "We understand passengers' frustration when they can't get a seat, which is why rail companies are working together to invest and make journeys better with thousands of new carriages and 6,400 extra train services a week by 2021.

"We will continue to work with governments to increase seats on key routes to boost communities, businesses and the economy."

The UK's worst train stations
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The UK's worst train stations
This Edwardian station was built in the early 1900s and is operated by East Midlands Trains. 59 per cent of people surveyed said they were satisfied with the station - a low score which ranked it bottom for both cleanliness and facilities in the Passenger Focus National Passenger survey.

Birmingham New Street railway station is the largest and busiest serving Birmingham. Despite the regular flow of people, only 64% of passengers surveyed in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) are satisfied with the sation. 

London Bridge railway station is a central London railway station and a London Underground complex in the London Borough of Southwark. The station is the oldest railway station in central London and one of the oldest in the world. 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station, the fourth busiest station in London. 

Peterborough railway station is a major interchange serving both the north-south ECML, as well as East-West long-distance and local services. The station is managed by East Coast. Just 67% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Crewe station was completed in 1837 and is one of the most historic railway stations in the world. Like London Bridge and Peterborough, only 67% of passengeres surveyed were happy with this station.

Gatwick Airport station provides a direct rail connection to London. The station platforms are located about 70 metres away from the airport's South Terminal. 69% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this station.

Stockport railway station was identified as one of the ten worst category B interchange stations by a mystery shopper assessment in 2009. Despite improvements being made to the station since, it is still one of the ten worst stations with only 70% of passengers satisfied with the station.

Clapham Junction station is one of the busiest in Europe by number of trains using it with many routes from London's two busiest termini, London Waterloo and London Victoria. Only 71% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with this busy station.

Maidenhead railway station serves the town of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. It is served by local services operated by First Great Western from London Paddington to Reading, and is also the junction for the Marlow Branch Line. The survey showed 71 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the overall quality of the station, giving it the ninth lowest satisfaction rating. 

Coventry station has the PlusBus scheme where train and bus tickets can be bought together at a saving. Despite this convenient feature, only 72% of passengers surveyed were satisfied with the station. 


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