Hundreds of thousands of people are forced to stand on over-crowded trains every day, with some carriages more than 65 per cent over-capacity.A table accompanying the article shows that a number of extended suburban services including Portsmouth to London and Birmingham to London are regularly overcrowded.
The government warned train companies they had to do more to tackle the problem when commuters keep facing inflation-busting rises in fares.
More than a third of trains arriving into London Waterloo in the morning rush hour were over-crowded, latest figures showed.
The number of rail journeys has doubled since rail privatisation, from 735million in 1994-95 to 1.5billion in 2012-13.
But much of the increase has been accommodated by squeezing even more people into packed commuter services into Britain’s biggest cities.
New figures from the Department for Transport show more than 100,000 London-bound rail commuters - a fifth of the overall total - had to stand at the busiest times of the morning rush-hour.
The use of fixed-formation trains probably precludes easy strengthening of consists for peak loads, and the tight loading gauge prevents the use of gallery cars. But those improvements can only work so far. In Chicago, bilevel formations often stretch the length of the passenger platforms, including the extra-long ones the Chicago and North Western provided for the Overland Limited of days long gone.
New York's Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station similarly runs out of platform space during the busiest hours.
The London Telegraph coverage of the overcrowding report considers policy implications.
Passengers on First Great Western, the line running out of Paddington, fared worst of all, with rush hour services carrying an average of seven per cent more commuters than the trains’ official capacity, including standing.Are passengers as important as pigs?
As previously disclosed by The Daily Telegraph, commuters on the most crowded services are travelling in conditions which would be illegal under EU animal welfare laws.
Even though the latest figures from the Department for Transport, covering 2012, represent an improvement on the previous year, they will still cause outrage among commuters who can pay several thousand pounds a year for their season ticket and are facing another year of above inflation fare rises.
Seriously, though, are commutation fares in Britain inefficiently low?
"These statistics show rail is vital to the economy, getting millions of people to work every day. But it also shows many commuters are faced with an unacceptable combination of overcrowded trains and spiralling ticket prices,” said Richard Hebditch, Campaigns Director, Campaign for Better Transport.Tackled by whom? Blank-out.
“Government needs to give rail passengers a fair deal by ending above inflation ticket price hikes and making sure franchise holders tackle overcrowding."
Bob Crow, the leader of the RMT transport union, blamed the private train operators for commuters’ plight.Unfortunately, there may be no spare multiple-units to augment the formations, and there may be no platform space at Waterloo or Paddington or even Marylebone to handle either the longer trains, or additional trains. Arguably, though, the commutation fares are still cheaper than the alternative including parking charges and congestion-zone permits, whilst not high enough to finance additional rolling stock let alone enlarged stations.
“While passengers are forced to pay through the nose to stand, crammed in on sweltering, overcrowded trains, the private companies running these services are making huge profits in the safe knowledge that the whole racket of rail privatisation is a one-way ticket to the bank,” he said.
“Until our railways are run as a public service, under public ownership and control, this scandal of the British paying the highest fares in Europe to travel on some of the worst services will continue unchecked.”
Norman Baker, the local transport minister added:"Climbing on to a very crowded train is an unpleasant experience and I sympathise with passengers using these services.
"I urge train operators to do what they can on these particular trains. The Department is working closely with the industry to ensure this issue is tackled.”