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|Here They Come, It's the Double Deckers
- Two-tier trains planned for London
LONDON has long been famous for its double decker buses. Will double decker trains soon become an equally well recognised part of the capital's transport landscape?
That was the intriguing question posed by one of the bidders for the south west trains franchise who hope to secure the 20 year contract to run commuter trains into Waterloo Station when the decision is taken in November.
"We propose radical solutions," said Dr Mike Mitchell, managing director of the Anglo-Dutch FirstGroup rail consortium. The double decker trains would run from Wimbledon to central London via two newly built tunnels, one of which would be a short cut past Waterloo Station, seen as a rail bottleneck, to Kings Cross.
Double deckers are a common sight in some other European cities, notably Paris, but previous plans to introduce them to London fell foul of the unusually high platforms used in the UK. It appears FirstGroup wants to redevelop the platforms at its stations if it gains the franchise, just one of the highly costly moves that have prompted rivals to accuse the consortium of a PR stunt ahead of the end of the bidding process.
Stagecoach, which currently have the franchise, and Sea Containers are the other bidders.