A rail company that serves parts of the West Midlands has hit on a new way of improving reliability and passenger comfort - by getting rid of new trains and replacing them with older ones.

First Great Western, which covers areas of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, has faced criticism for poor performance, with a passenger group calling for the company to be stripped of its franchise.

FGW said it was handing back its fleet of 14 new high-speed Adelante trains and replacing them with older InterCity rolling stock.

The old trains will have new interiors and new engines and the whole refurbishment programme will cost the company #160m.

A FGW spokesman said: "Reliability of the new trains has been satisfactory but the older trains, with their new engines, are five times more reliable.

"Also, the new trains only have 280 seats and the older ones will be able to seat 515 people. In total, we will have an extra three million seats on trains running in and out of London Paddington station each year."

The spokesman continued: "The new trains were only a small part of our fleet as they were running alongside 45 older trains. This has not really been about reliability so much as tackling the problems of overcrowding."