The repair of damaged trains and the addition of two more trains to the network, means Leighton Buzzard commuters can look forward to 20 extra carriages shortly.
West Midlands Trains confirmed this week to South West Beds MP, Andrew Selous, that three of the four class 350 trains damaged in a landslip near Watford towards the end of 2016 have now been repaired and returned into service.
In addition, two new class 319 trains will be in service in the next couple of weeks. As each class 319 and 350 comes as a set of four carriages, that provides an extra 20 carriages for Leighton Buzzard commuters.
Mr Selous said: “I am delighted to learn this news from West Midlands Trains. These extra carriages will help reduce short forming and cancellations for Leighton Buzzard commuters.
“Further into the future, in December 2021 there will be 180 new train carriages for West Midlands Trains, adding 10,000 extra peak time seats into and out of London each day.”
A spokesman for West Midlands Trains said the landslip had caused two class 350 trains to collide. He said: “The damage was so bad that that some of the carriages had to be taken to the Siemens factory in Germany for repairs lasting over a year.
“We then lost two more class 350 trains in separate incidents. One involved the derailment of an empty passenger train near Liverpool. Another of our trains was badly damaged by a loose door on a passing freight container.
“The good news is that three of the four damaged trains are now returning to service along with two extra class 319 trains we are adding to the fleet in the next couple of weeks. As each train ( class 350 and 319) come in fixed formations of four carriages, this means we will shortly have 20 more carriages on the route serving Leighton Buzzard which will help reduce short forming and train cancellations.
“Longer term, we are adding over 413 carriages to our fleet as part of a £700 million investment in new trains. By 2021 this will add an extra 10,000 peak hour seats to our London bound services.”