More and faster trains just the ticket as passengers face price rises

RAIL travellers facing inflation-busting fare rises in the new year will at least be getting more, and faster, trains, it was revealed today.

Rail companies will be running nearly 700 more trains a day on weekdays and 265,000 more a year from next Sunday when a new timetable comes in, the Association of Train Operating Companies said.

Many services will be faster and will feature longer trains, with the completion of a multi-billion pound project helping to improve journeys on the London to Scotland west coast main line.

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The new timetable takes effect less than three weeks before new year fares are introduced, with season tickets going up by an average of 6 per cent.

For passengers, the new timetable will mean:

• An 3.4 per cent rise in trains running each weekday, taking the total to 20,728

• The number of Saturday trains increasing by 5.2 per cent and Sunday trains by 7.6 per cent

• 20 per cent more trains than the last comparable timetable of British Rail services in 1996

• Four new stations and two new lines opening during the next few months

• Eight additional towns and cities being linked by direct services to London

• 30 per cent more trains on the West Coast route, with 13 million additional seats a year.

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