A 40 metric tonne machine with a top speed of 100mph was named for Royston at a windswept ceremony held in the town yesterday.

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MP Oliver Heald unveiled the The Royston Express, a 12-carriage train, in recognition of two new non-stop evening services from Kings Cross to Royston created shortly before Christmas.

The ribbon to the town’s northbound rail platform, extended by Network Rail, was also cut by Town Mayor Councillor Martin Beaver.

Mr Heald, Mp for North East Herts, said: “I have worked closely with First Capital Connect to support their plan to run extra services and longer trains giving Royston travellers many more seats every day to ease overcrowding.

“I also thank Network Rail.

“This is great news and I am delighted to name the train The Royston Express.”

Both county and district councillors attended the event which celebrated the introduction of thousands of extra rush hour seats.

This has been done by extending the amount of carriages which has resulted in 2,350 extra places.

Cllr Beaver said: “This is very welcome news for all the commuters of Royston and the surrounding area.

“Overcrowding has been a major problem for a number of years, I am overjoyed to see that it is being addressed and hope that it will now encourage more people to use our rail system in the future.”

The longer trains are part of a wider set of improvements introduced through a scheme jointly developed by First Capital Connect and the Department for Transport with Network Rail.

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: “Hopefully it will provide a more comfortable travelling experience.

“We know that overcrowding is the biggest bugbear for people who have been travelling for miles and we are doing what we can to alleviate it for people.”

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