These carriages will provide over 5,000 additional seats into London in the morning peak alone, enabling thousands more people to travel in greater comfort.
The Department for Transport, working with Southeastern and Govia Thameslink Railway has approved the transfer of the carriages which were previously in use on Thameslink and Southern services.
Over the next few weeks, these carriages will be modified for use on the Southeastern network.
David Statham, Managing Director, Southeastern said: “We are delighted to have secured these carriages for our passengers. Longer trains will mean more seats, more space and more comfortable journeys. Some of these carriages will be deployed this week and we are looking forward to introducing the rest over the coming weeks. Southeastern has worked very closely with the Department for Transport and Govia Thameslink Railway to deliver this extra capacity for passengers.”
Paul Maynard, Rail Minister, said: “We are committed to getting passengers across the country more comfortable, reliable and efficient journeys that they want. Today’s announcement will see an extra 5,000 seats for passengers on Southeastern on services into London in the morning rush hour period – bringing immediate benefits to many commuters.”
On the Maidstone East line, passengers will enjoy more air conditioned modern carriages with some peak-time trains doubling in length.
On the Hayes, Bexleyheath, Woolwich, Sidcup, Bromley South and Grove Park lines, passengers will see a number of peak-time trains lengthened from eight to ten carriages while some six-car trains will lengthen to eight.
The first 16 carriages will be introduced in mid-September and the remaining will be introduced in phases by November.
Southeastern is committed to constantly improving the passenger experience and making train journeys better. Based on passenger feedback, Southeastern has invested over £70m to improve train performance, customer service and station facilities. The latest National Rail Passenger Survey shows that 8 out of 10 Southeastern customers are satisfied with the service.