New trains that were sitting idle for months will finally start to be used between Welwyn Hatfield and London.

This news comes after local MP Grant Shapps pushed bosses at the operator, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), into action.

Mr Shapps has been in close contact with executives at the rail firm and made national headlines after he spotted the new £240million fleet gathering dust.

The new 717 specification trains were supposed to be gradually introduced from January but were delayed due to concerns about driver safety.

Problems arose after drivers of the new trains found that they were unable to see the signals on platforms without getting out of their seat, which is considered unsafe.

As a temporary fix, a guard was positioned on the platform at some stations to allow a few of the new trains to begin circulation.

GTR have now said that a permanent solution has been found and the fleet can be introduced in full.

Signals at four stations between Moorgate and Finsbury Park have been relocated so that the new trains should be launched this week.

The Welwyn Hatfield MP said: “The new trains are a huge improvement on the last fleet, which were some of the oldest in Britain, but this news is heavily overdue.

“For months my constituents and I have suffered with overcrowding whilst the 717s have been sitting unused in the sidings. Their full introduction is certainly welcome news.”

The 717s have increased capacity compared to the old 313 specification trains, and have free wifi and power sockets as well as better acceleration and braking.

Grant chats to a commuter at WGC station

Notes to editor:

Grant previously commented on this in the Mail on Sunday