HS2

15.02.16

Virgin to introduce 42 new services between Edinburgh-London

Virgin Trains has received permission to introduce 42 new services a week between Edinburgh and London this May.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved the operator’s plan to expand London to Newcastle services to Edinburgh from 16 May, boosting seat capacity by 22,000 each week.

The new timetable will see four new departures from Edinburgh on weekdays, at 9.00am, 1.00pm, 4.00pm and 7.35pm, taking the total southbound trains to London to 25. The new services previously started from Newcastle.

In the northbound direction departures from King’s Cross at 6.15am, 10.30am, 1.30pm and 5.30pm, will be extended to terminate at Edinburgh instead of Newcastle, taking the total to 23 on weekdays. Two new services, one southbound and one northbound, will also be introduced on Sundays.

David Horne, Virgin Trains’ managing director on the east coast route, said: “This is a major boost for our customers travelling between Edinburgh and London who will be able to catch a train every half-hour for most of the day.

“We have seen how increasing capacity and frequency adds to the popularity of train travel and we’re confident that customers will respond positively to these changes.”

The announcement comes after news last year that Virgin’s East Coast franchise has launched a new range of services to London from Sunderland and Stirling.

To celebrate the new timetable, which will lead to 25 Virgin southbound services leaving from Edinburgh every weekday, Virgin is introducing celebratory £25 Edinburgh-London tickets (in each direction). These will be on sale for two weeks from 19 February.

They are also extending their ticket booking horizon from the industry standard of 12 weeks to 24 weeks. The 24-week booking window applies to services between London and north of York. It had been in place previously for services Monday to Friday, and is now being extended to weekend services as well.

Derek Mackay MSP, Scotland’s minister for transport and islands, said: “I welcome these enhanced timetables, the greater connectivity they offer between Scotland and the south east of England and the benefits that they will bring to the rail passenger experience and economies of locations along the route.”

Comments

Dennis   16/02/2016 at 13:44

I can see this is good news for Edinburgh but not good news for Newcastle and southern stations unless extra trains for these are provided. And it doesn't look as if they are to be . . .

Huguenot   16/02/2016 at 21:23

I can't see how this would affect Newcastle adversely: at least they will get more services to Scotland. However, I too was wondering where VTEC will get the extra stock from. Have they had spare trains just sitting in sidings all this time?

Andrew G   22/02/2016 at 00:11

Is there a possibility that Virgin Trains East Coast could operate a new London-Hartlepool, London-Scarborough, London-Grimsby, London-Skegness and London-Lincoln services in and out of London King's Cross using the Class 43 HST's and the upcoming IEP Class 800's and Class 801's which are to replace the Class 43 HST's and Class 91+MK3+DVT fleets.

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