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02 June 2018
Neath Rail Station

Passengers 'missing stop' because new Great Western trains are too long for platform at Neath

The length of the new trains means they cannot all fit onto the platform.

(A follow-up on a Reader's Letter)

Passengers 'missing stop' because new Great Western trains are too long for platform

The length of the new trains means they cannot all fit onto the platform

Passengers on the new trains serving South Wales can't get off their train because they're too long for a station platform, a councillor has claimed.

The Great Western Railway trains which run from London Paddington to Swansea were launched six months ago.

The Hitachi Intercity Express Trains (IET) trains have ten carriages with each carriage being three metres longer than the older trains, providing extra space for more seats and increased legroom.

But the length of the trains means they cannot all fit onto the platform at Neath station, meaning two of the end carriages have to be locked when at the station.

John Warman (left), county borough councillor for Cimla in Neath, said: "The result is that passengers in these two carriages have to walk a very long way, often carrying their luggage through carriages which don't have a lot of space.

"It's more difficult when you're elderly or disabled and there have been cases where people haven't realised and by the time they've got through to one of the carriages which is on the platform, the train has moved on.

"Some people have been stranded in Swansea and have to come back."

"If we have got these trains then we need to have the facilities for passengers to use them which enable them to get off in safety and with ease.

"The station is well used by people and I don't want to see passengers inconvenienced."

He added that a waiting room on the platform where trains stop heading to Cardiff and London was also needed, saying passengers were currently having to use one on the other side.

According to Network Rail's Enhancement Delivery Plan, Neath is listed for a platform extension to allow for 10 car intercity express trains. A delivery date for this work is yet to be finalised.

Network Rail said investment in the railway would be a funding decision for the UK Government.

Bethan Jelfs, customer services director at Arriva Trains Wales said: "We have worked closely with our partners in GWR and Network Rail to ensure customers at Neath can board and alight from the new GWR train."

And a GWR spokesman said: "Thousands of trains longer than station platforms operate every day across the UK rail network.

"Customers are informed by announcements both on board and at stations, prior to departure and prior to arrival, on occasions when carriages cannot be platformed."

Source - Wales Onlline

+ About the new trains:

As part of the UK Government's Intercity Express Programme (IEP), the Class 800 units are to be partial replacements for the aging InterCity 125 trains which currently operate services on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line. The Class 800s are a mixture of electric and electro-diesel multiple units, with the electro-diesel ones being able to draw power from electrified overhead lines where available or power themselves via underfloor diesel generators when outside the electrified network. The train specification requires that this changeover can occur at line speed. Units built for the East Coast Main Line will be primarily electric, while all units built for the Great Western Main Line will be electro-diesel, with the possibility to be converted to electric-only operation by removal of the diesel engines.

........ Wikipedia

The line from Cardiff to Swansea will not be electified.

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