On 28th July, the DfT updated their passenger overcrowding data on trains, which they publish annually.
It shows that for the 11 major cities listed in England and Wales, the number of standing passengers in the morning peak three hours was 173,310 in 2015. In 2011 the figure was 132,131. So there has been an increase of 31% in the number of standing passengers into these major cities during four years. Virgin West Coast trains into Euston were the only trains entering London without any standing passengers during the morning peak. So HS2 will be built to provide additional capacity on a route which is currently not overcrowded (as far as the passengers are concerned). HS2 will do nothing to directly address this spiralling number of standing passengers on trains into London (and many other major cities).
On the other hand London Overground trains entering Euston have the most standing passengers in the morning peak (measured on a percentage basis). How will HS2 assist them? By reducing the number of approach tracks at Euston, so limiting future growth of classic train services into this station!
Looking at the London overcrowding situation in more detail, we find the following. Standing passengers are accumulated by station for London; the data below is for the morning three hour peak on a typical autumn day in 2015:
Number of standing passengers per day (weekday)
|Number of standing passengers|
per day (weekday)
- All figures rounded to nearest 1,000
- Euston figures of standing passengers come entirely from London Midland and London Overground trains. Virgin trains are showing as having no standing passengers in the morning peak into Euston.
- You will notice that the top 6 stations in this list all serve destinations to the South and East of London. This is no surprise when you appreciate that 85% of all rail passengers travelling into London do so from the South and East of the capital (Office of Rail and Road data). It is all the more surprising then to build an expensive railway (HS2) to serve towns and cities to the North West of London.
- Please note that Crossrail and the improved Thameslink will NOT address all of the top stations in this list.