Cold comfort for freezing Northampton rail passengers

Train bosses have apologised after a barrage of complaints from freezing Northampton passengers.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 10:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 10:35 am
Rail passengers at Northampton station are complaining about feeling the cold as temperatures plummet

Early-morning temperatures have struggled to get above freezing at Castle Station as temperatures plummeted since Friday.

Yet one chilly traveller tweeted: "The 07:15 Northampton to Euston has no heating and is blowing out cold air in these temperatures."

And another chipped in: "It's colder inside the train than outside!"

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London Northwestern's brand new trains are due start running through Northampton next year

Some of the trains serving Northampton are 15-year-old units inherited from former operator London Midland.

LNWR kicked off a refurbishment programme last year and have also 'borrowed' 16 newer carriages with another 24 to follow.

A spokesman said: "We're sorry that our passengers not happy with temperatures on the trains but, truth be told, we don't actually like these older trains either.

"These carriages will be slowly phased out and replaced with 40 newer carriages which have better heating.

How the interior of the new trains will look.

"But if we didn't use them now, we'd lose more than 3,000 peak seats into London. We're not planning on keeping them any longer than we need to – not pinning it down to a set date but we're hoping to have them all replaced by 2022.

"Regarding the heating, some of our units take time to warm up on their first service of the day.

"The wiring on those units are really old and worn which is why the heating isn't the best.

"Unfortunately, for us to rewire these trains it would mean ripping out the seats and flooring, which can take up to two weeks.

"We'd rather avoid this because we're already short on carriages as it is. We are, however, working closely with our suppliers Siemens to try and find a less intrusive solution."

LNWR promised a £700million investment after taking over the franchise covering Northampton from London Midland in 2017 and ordered 81 brand new Aventra trains with a top speed of 110mph.

These are currently being built by Bombardier in Derby and are due to start running in summer 2021.