RAIL company bosses say the introduction of larger trains on busy commuter routes through Wigan will ease congestion woes for workers.
Northern Rail has announced eight four-carriage electric trains will start operating on newly electrified lines connecting Wigan North Western station with Liverpool and Manchester.
The larger trains will offer twice as many seats as the diesel counterparts they are replacing, rail bosses say, and will also be able to accelerate quicker.
And newly-installed on-board information technology mean that passengers are now being better informed about their journey while travelling via new digital screens and automated audio announcements to support the conductor on board.
Alex Hynes, managing director for Northern Rail said: “These additional electric trains are another step towards bringing a fully electrified service to the North West; Northern is committed to delivering a great customer experience and our investment in these trains demonstrates how important that is to us.”
Northern Rail has also pledged to introduce more trains throughout the year, taking the total in operation to 20.
Reported instances of overcrowding on services between Manchester and Wigan have been an ongoing concern for commuters in recent years.
And plans to lobby for a new combined rail hub in the town centre have been proposed to help ease congestion problems.
To promote the new service with improved seating, Northern Rail has temporarily placed a number of quirky furniture items on the platforms at Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Victoria stations.
Mr Hynes added: “This unusual seating seemed a fun way to mark the fact that with more trains and services being added, more and more customers are set to benefit from more seats.”