The work to introduced this timetable has progressed with both Network Rail and stakeholders being involved throughout. The improvements are know in FCC speak as 'Seats For You', although during the consultation period it was know as the Cambridge & Peterborough Capacity study. By gaining five class 321 from London Midland and using them on the Peterborough route, this in turn frees some class 365 Networkers to increase many 8 car trains to 12 cars on the Cambridge route. For example the 07:15 and 07:45 Cambridge to London Kings Cross are listed by the Government as some of the most crowded trains in the UK. The new service allows these trains to be increased from 8 to 12 cars.
Peterborough route also sees improvements with 06:54 and 07:14 departures from Peterborough callings at Huntingdon and St Neots in the morning peak with 12 car trains. An additional 12 car train runs north from Kings Cross at 17:40.
There are off peak improvements and the Sunday 14:56 Ely to Kings Cross doubles from 4 to 8 car service. There are various other additional off peak trains in the new timetable.
To achieve this Network Rail has increased platform lengths at Cambridge and Royston to allow 12 car trains to call there. Upgrading the power was also needed with £1.6m spent to allowed the lengthen and additional trains to run.
In a few years futher changes will be made as part of the Thameslink Programme with new 12 car trains and an entirely new fleet for both the Great Northern and Thameslink sides of FCC and with the running of trains from the GN side through the Thameslink Core.
Due to the slow but regular introduction now being seen by Thameslink customers of the class 377/5 Electrostars more changes to the timetable have been made. As it stands units 377501/502/504/507 have being delivered to FCC. Unit 377508 went into service this morning 13 days after being delivered for testing with 377505 on test at the moment.
A summary of some issues are below
- 17:06 Sutton to St Albans reduced to 4 cars
- 17:40 Sutton to St Albans increased to 8 cars
- 17:05 Sevenoaks to Bedford will run two minutes earlier and take up the 'Crowd Buster' path meaning it loses stops at West Hampstead, Elstree & Borehamwood, Radlett, Leagrave and Filtwick.
- 18:16 'Crowd Buster' will be reduced to four cars and take the 17:05 path meaning it picks all all the stations lost to the Sevenoaks service above. Once enough 377/5 have arrived the 'Crowd Buster' will start from Elephant & Castle.