Transport 2000's  Sardine Man begins a national tour today of some of the most overcrowded train journeys in England and Wales to highlight overcrowding and the need for Government investment to increase capacity and relieve congestion on the rail network.
Sardine Man launched his tour at Eastleigh Train Depot at 10:30am . Eastleigh Train Depot is a poignant reminder of how many empty train carriages sit idle, while overcrowding goes on unabated .
Transport 2000 has looked at all the data available for England and Wales and identified 10 train lines that most urgently need their capacity increased. Sardine Man will be travelling on some of these trains in the fortnight starting 27 March. He will be gathering evidence of rail overcrowding to send to the Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, in the run-up to this summers’s expected 30-year rail strategy.
The worst train journeys 
Journey... Running over capacity by...
Julia Thomas, Transport 2000’s public transport campaigner, said: "It’s very easy to blame rail operators for overcrowding problems, but actually a lot of it is down to the Government’s rail policy – they have issued 'no growth' franchises for the past 10 years and they've been promoting a policy of fares hikes to get people to travel off-peak, but passengers really don’t have that much flexibility. In addition, the very short time periods covered by franchise agreements does not encourage any infrastructure investment by the rail operators."
The need for action
Transport 2000 is calling on the Government to take action to ensure that an increase in capacity of the rail network is at the centre of this summer’s new 30-year rail strategy. 
Notes to Editors
 Transport 2000 is an independent campaigning and research body that represents the key transport interests of around 40 environmental groups, transport organisations and transport unions. We bring together people who seek to reduce the environmental and social effects of transport through encouraging less use of cars, lorries and planes and more use of rail, buses, trams, cycling and walking.
 A photo opportunity will take place at Eastleigh Train Depot from 10:30 - 11am, on Campbell Road. Closest Railway station is Eastleigh. Sardine man and Transport 2000’s executive director, Stephen Joseph, will be available at Eastleigh to take questions and appear for photographs.
Sardine Man is travelling around the county over the next fortnight. These journeys were chosen to illustrate that rail overcrowding is a national problem, not confined to London and the South East, and that rail overcrowding does not just occur in the morning peak but evenings too.
 Much of this stock underutilisation occurs because of high leasing costs. According to a recent Office of Rail Regulation, much of this is the fault of how the Government sets up franchising agreements, rather than the rolling stock leasing companies themselves (Rail Magazine December 20 2006 – January 2 2007).
(a) Survey conducted by Nexus, November 2006
(b) House of Commons Hansard written answers for 21 March 2006 (pt18)
(c) Network Rail North West Route Utilisation Strategy Draft for Consultation (page 32 & 33)
(e) Survey conducted by South Yorkshire PTE, 2006
(f) Survey conducted by Centro, Winter 2006
 Office of Rail Regulation Website 2007
Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a charity (1101929) and a company limited by guarantee (4943428)