Rail franchises operators & contracts

13.11.19

New Stirling to London rail service application submitted by Grand Union

Grand Union have submitted a new application to the Office of Rail and Road proposing a rail service between Stirling and London.

The new service would be scheduled for four times a day starting from May 2021, and would start at Stirling, calling at Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet, Motherwell and Lockerbie in Scotland and then Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes, terminating at London Euston.

This route would link towns that have limited or no long-distance cross border train services into the wider rail network, giving Scotland improved connectivity as well as competitive services for some stations on the West Coast Main Line. Passengers would not have to travel through Edinburgh and Glasgow therefore avoiding usually heavily congested stations.

Grand Union has said the new base for the operation would in Scotland where the trains would be maintained, with an additional base at Preston or Crewe to operate the southern end of the route. The new operation is also expected to create 100 new and permanent full-time roles.

Each train will also have good leg room and luggage space, a fixed buffet and kitchen providing a range of catering options for passengers. They will also include substantial space for carrying bicycles, which are critical for the Scottish tourist market.

Director of Marketing and Development David Prescot said: “This new train services will transform the connectivity of a number of significant and rapidly changing Scottish towns along the Scottish Central corridor from Stirling through Falkirk and Lanarkshire. Each station has been chosen because of the benefits and opportunities it brings.

“Grand Union’s service will open up tourism opportunities, improve business options, provide new leisure travel opportunities and help reduce people’s reliance on air travel.

“We will be able to provide people a faster and more comfortable journey and eliminate the need to change trains by avoiding Glasgow and Edinburgh, meaning people will be able to complete the journey from Stirling to London in just over five and a half hours.

“We are planning to start discussions with Transport Scotland, local authorities and ScotRail to discuss how we can invest in station upgrades at Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet and Lockerbie to improve passenger and staff facilities, matching these stations with standards along Intercity train routes.”

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