Britain now has oldest trains since records began

 

Trains in Britain have now been in use for longer than at any time since current records began, an investigation has found.

The average carriage was built 21.1 years ago, according to Press Association analysis of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) statistics.

This is older than at any point in the ORR's publicly available records, which start in 2001, and 60% older than in 2006.

”Local
The Caledonian Sleeper

Travellers on the Caledonian Sleeper service between London and Scotland use Britain’s oldest trains, at 42 years old, but may not necessarily be complaining, due to the vintage nature of the line. 

Those using Merseyrail, which has the second oldest fleet at 38 years old, may feel differently.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing train operators, told newspapers that more than 5,500 new carriages will be in use across Britain by the end of 2020 with many other trains undergoing refurbishments.

Chief executive Paul Plummer said: 'This will help to deliver our commitment to boost customer satisfaction so that Britain continues to have the most highly rated major railway in Europe.'

A Department for Transport spokesman said: 'We are investing record amounts in delivering the biggest rail improvement plan since Victorian times to improve services for passengers – providing faster, better and more comfortable trains with extra seats.

'Passengers all over the UK will be travelling on brand new trains within the next 18 months.

'We have introduced new trains on routes across the country, upgrading trains on other routes, and removing the outdated Pacer trains from the North.'

This article was amended to read that the Caledonian Sleeper and Merseyrail use trains that are among the oldest, rather than the oldest, after a reader commented below that 1938 ex-London Underground stock is still running on the Isle of Wight.

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