More standard class seats and a refreshed first class environment

Friday 14th March 2014
First Great Western has secured agreement with the Department for Transport to increase standard class capacity on all First Great Western’s High Speed Trains, by converting some of its first class carriages.

The deal will create almost 3,000 more standard class seats a day for customers across the network and deliver nearly 16% more standard class accommodation on high speed services into London in the busy morning peak.

This is on top of an increase in peak-time seats delivered by the company in the summer of 2012, through the rebuilding and upgrading of disused buffet cars to create additional seats.

First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: "We know that, ultimately, the only long-term solution to busy services is more trains. New Intercity Express trains are on their way, however, it is still some time before they will be ready for service. The conversion of these carriages to create more standard class seating is crucial in the interim period."

In addition to the standard class re-seating, work will be undertaken to refresh the remaining first class accommodation, 1½ carriages per train, recognising the importance of this to commuter, business and leisure customers. This activity will include realignment of single seats, installation of privacy screens, more comfortable headrests, re-covered seats, new carpets and other changes designed to improve the experience for first class customers.

The first completed carriages are expected to be running in June 2014, with the entire fleet completed by late summer 2015.The programme to provide additional standard class seats is being funded by the Department for Transport, while the changes to first class accommodation are being funded by First Great Western.