Commuters from Swindon will have over 3,400 more seats to choose from on new trains from this week.

Great Western Railway have provided the additional seating through the introduction of new Intercity Express Trains (IETs) on services between the town and London Paddington. 16 of the new train models will serve the route, with another 16 also on the lines to Bristol and South Wales.

The new models are replacing High Speed Trains, and each train provides up to 24 per cent more seats.

The managing director of GWR, Mark Hopwood, said: “Today marks a massive step towards delivering the capacity improvements we have promised, and the biggest fleet upgrade in a generation.

“I am delighted to see even more IETs enter service, enabling us to make further improvements throughout our network, and supporting the communities we serve.

“Let me also take this opportunity to thank our passengers for their patience while travelling during the Christmas period, as Network Rail continues its programme to modernise the Great Western.”

Built in Hitachi’s north-east factory in Newton Aycliffe, the new trains are part of the government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme, which is intended to replace old fleets on the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines.

All the new models should be implemented by the end of 2018, and a timetable change in January 2019 will ensure that the full benefits of the new models are realised.

The managing director of the Network Rail Western route, Mark Langman, said:

“This is another major step forward in the biggest ever transformation on the Great Western Mainline as we deliver more trains, more seats and better journeys for communities across the route.”