Longer trains are due to be introduced on the Uckfield Line from Monday (July 25).
Train operator Southern confirmed the first of the ten-car services would start following the refurbishment of 12 extra coaches and the lengthening of platforms between Uckfield and Hurst Green.
The first service to be boosted to ten-car will Monday’s 07:05, if all goes according to plan.
Southern plans to bring the full fleet into service over the coming weeks.
Up until now, the longest trains on the line have had eight coaches but most stations on the line could only cope with up to six-car trains, meaning passengers had to be in the correct part of the train to alight.
The 12 extra coaches, which came south last year from ScotRail, have undergone extensive work to make them compatible with the rest of Southern’s diesel fleet.
This included work on the engines, the wheelsets, modifications to the driver’s cab system, a full internal refurbishment of the carriages, new electronics to allow the additional units to ‘communicate’ with current trains, as well as corrosion repair and external painting.
“When the full fleet is in service in the coming weeks it will provide a 50 per cent increase in capacity on the line during the morning peak,” a Southern spokesperson told UckfieldNews.com.
The extended platforms opened last week.
To accommodate the construction work, the Uckfield Line was closed as far north as Crowborough earlier this year, with off-peak closures last autumn and this spring. Work was also done in the Crowborough tunnel during the closure.