Commuters demand 'comfy' trains back
Portsmouth News: 03 February 2007
A RAIL boss is coming under pressure to return 'comfy' trains to Portsmouth as he meets a top-level delegation.
Passengers want the 450 trains taken out of service on long journeys
City leaders will have a crunch face-to-face meeting with South West Trains boss Stewart Palmer on Monday to demand their old trains back.
They want to see the back of the cramped blue 450 trains – originally intended for suburban services in and around London – which have been rolled out between Portsmouth Harbour and London Waterloo.
Passengers have complained the seats are too narrow for such a long journey.
Commuters now want to see the return of the old white 444 trains, which are currently being run between Southampton and London.
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson and city transport chiefs will meet Mr Palmer on Monday to demand a U-turn.
He said: 'It seems that Portsmouth was one of the last areas to get rid of the old slam-door trains, and one of the last areas to get decent mainline trains.
'Now these comfortable trains, which only arrived in 2004, are being removed and replaced with cramped ones more suitable for short, local commuter journeys.
'Passengers are finding them very uncomfortable.
'I have to use them as well and I agree.'
Commuters have started a 'No450 Campaign' to persuade bosses to get rid of them.