Tory Transport Minister Leads Socialist Revolution To Scrap First Class On South Eastern Trains

By James O Malley on at

If you're a wealthy traveller, then you'll know that there's nothing better when catching a train than relaxing into your slightly larger seat, resting your head on the tokenistic extra padding and contemplating just how much better you are than the oiks in standard class.

But perhaps not for much longer.

According to the Evening Standard it could be the Conservative Party leading the revolution and putting you up against the wall - as you're crushed back into cattle class alongside the poor. Apparently Chris Grayling has proposed scrapping first class entirely on much maligned South Eastern Rail when the franchise comes up for renewal next year.

The thinking is fairly simple: At the moment, in addition to being hideously unreliable South Eastern trains are utterly rammed - and London's population is only set to grow. By dumping first class, more standard class seats can be squeezed in. And the proposals go even further too: He's suggesting "metro-style" carriages that will look a lot like London Tube carriages - with less seating, to facilitate more people standing.

Other proposed changes to South Eastern include running existing trains faster, new payment systems, extending trains to 12 carriages and adding new orbital London routes, so not all trains go straight into central London.

These all sound broadly sensible to us with our transport nerd hats on. It's just a shame he's refusing to do the most obvious sensible move: handing control of South Eastern to the London Overground. [Standard]