Commuters in Welwyn Hatfield will be using state-of-the-art new trains to and from Moorgate as soon as February.
But MP Grant Shapps has pledged the fight goes on to improve services and reverse the decision to reduce the number of trains serving some stations.
The news comes following a meeting with Govia timetabling expert Paul Hutchinson as part of the MP’s ongoing campaign following last year’s changes which caused chaos for thousands of rail users.
Mr Hutchinson, Head of Strategic Planning at Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) met with Mr Shapps in Parliament to report back on proposals put forward at a previous meeting.
New 717 specification trains, which will also have air conditioning, power sockets and free Wi-Fi, should begin running from next week with more and more old trains being gradually replaced by the new fleet. The roll out will take several months before the half century-old trains disappear entirely.
Mr Shapps commented: “This is fantastic news for my constituents. Improved travel times and increased capacity will all contribute to more comfortable journeys for passengers.”
But it is the introduction of these new trains, which have better acceleration and braking than current ones running to and from Welwyn Hatfield, which meant Govia had to look at revising timetables.
The MP said: “I simply will not accept a service that is significantly worse than before the timetable changes last year.”
Now, using data to be collected from the new trains, GTR bosses have committed to exploring several options to increase the number of off-peak trains to stations such as Brookmans Park and Welham Green that have seen a reduction in service since May last year.
“This commitment is encouraging,” Mr Shapps said, “but I will continue to demand meetings from bosses at GTR and the Department for Transport until I can be sure that my constituents are not worse off since May.”
Mr Shapps has previously called for Govia to lose its franchise over last year’s chaotic changes, and is currently in talks with the Department for Transport to open up the bidding process for other operators to take over the franchise.