With regard to First Great Western’s overhaul of its train design, one of the major factors in preventing more trains operating along a particular line is dwell time. This is the time a train is stationary at a station while passengers get on and off the train.
A well-designed train allows passengers to get on and off quickly and safely. The dropping in of standard trains by operators on to the network from other parts of the world designed for different-distance use and passenger volumes is the route to many problems. One old or inappropriately designed vehicle holds up the whole system. The bendy bus in central London – say no more.
New lines are not going to be built tomorrow, so through creative joined-up thinking and technology we need to use the existing infrastructure more efficiently.
For instance, longer platforms would enable longer trains. Why is it when you look over a motorway bridge cars are flying past one after another, but look over a railway bridge and you would be lucky to see one train go past. Mind the gap.
Paul Priestman, Director, Priestman Goode, London W1