Passenger slams overcrowded East Midlands train services on Robin Hood line

The train from Sutton Parkway to Nottingham
The train from Sutton Parkway to Nottingham

A rail passenger has slammed East Midlands services after she was unable to get on her train due to overcrowding.

Emma Derner, from Sutton, travelled from Sutton Parkway into Nottingham at around 2.15pm on Saturday August 26.

She said: "It's like this every weekend. We were herded on like cattle. This was on the outward journey from Sutton to Nottingham at 2.15. There were people missing stops and we were crammed into the exit /entrance bit so much that we couldn't hold on. There were 17 of us in that little corridor."

She said the train, which was travelling along the Robin Hood line, only had two carriages - not enough for the amount of people.

When she then tried to return on the 7.55pm train, she was unable to board as the platform was so busy, which was in part due to a football match taking place.

She said the crowds were so bad children were crying and one woman was knocked over.

"There was one disabled lady who got knocked over on the way home by the crowd. Luckily her husband caught her. I had someone with me luckily. It ruined a good afternoon to be honest. There were children petrified and crying, Emma said.

She was told she would have to wait an hour for the next train, but knowing it would be just as busy she decided to walk across the city centre to catch a bus, despite having paid for her return ticket.

She said: "We complained to staff at the customer service office and were given the excuse that they don't have enough stock carriages, when we challenged this and said it had been like this for over a year we were then told that it was because the stations along this route were too short for more than two carriages. Absolute rubbish. When this happens in other areas of the country they simply ask people to use the front carriage at those stations."

Emma said having more carriages wouold have helped with overcrowding.

"It just needs an extra few trains on, she said. "It's not rocket science. If they were running more regularly at peak times it wouldn't be an issue. I've been on the tube when it's been less overcrowded."

She added that there was no air conditioning on the train and in the heat of the Bank Holiday weekend, conditions were 'horrific'.

An East Midlands Trains spokesperson said: "We are sorry that some passengers may have faced inconvenience on Saturday.

"The number of carriages made available for each train company are agreed with the Department for Transport at the start of every franchise. Every carriage within our whole fleet is already being used and we are therefore unable to provide any additional carriages on any of our weekend services at this time.  

"This weekend was particularly busy due to the Bank Holiday and a larger than normal crowd travelling for the Nottingham Forest v Leeds football match.

"We regularly review our timetable and take into account feedback from passengers and passenger demand to determine any measures can be taken to make improvements for the future. However we are currently using all of our trains in the best way possible to balance out the competing demands across our network.”