Could Double-Deck trains solve London’s capacity problem? HOWARD PACK and JAN PLOMER present a concept designed to address this issue

On Continental railway systems, double-deck trains are commonplace. The Netherlands has many of the characteristics of the UK, with high population densities. Frequent rail services with double-deck trains provide good connectivity between towns and cities. So what prevents the UK from following that example?

Could double-deck trains help to solve the capacity shortfalls today on routes out of London? What are the real issues that hold the concept back and how could they be tackled?


We can compare how different train service plans could provide capacity (in standard class) and when the shortfall would occur.

On some routes, long distance trains are essentially being used as outer-suburban trains, with outer-suburban EMUs used as a peak hour fill-in. This is unsatisfactory for both markets and is a poor use of available rolling stock.

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