Originally uploaded by seadipper.
First Great Western is refurbishing its Inter-City 125 trains and totally rebuilding the power cars with new low-emission engines. Good, and it is nice to see that proper use is being made of a valuable asset.
But they are shortening the trains and cramming in extra seats. This will cause a problem as it will make them uncomfortable- also they are used on holiday routes where passengers often have a lot of luggage and there will be insufficient space for it. At the moment, you can put luggage on the floor between the back-to-back seats (see picture),
Why are the trains being shortened? The aim is to improve acceleration, which is fair enough, but it could just as well have been done by fitting the drive with a lower gear ratio and leaving the trains their original length. This would have reduced the top speed but on FGW's routes the trains have little opportunity to run at 125 mph anyway due to the close spacing of the stations and speed restrictions.