New Blackpool-London train link is on track

Train operator Grand Central has revealed plans to operate up to five new direct services a week between Blackpool and London.

The company said today that it was on track to launch the new service between Blackpool North station and Euston from spring next year.

The InterCity services were approved last June by the Rail Regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.

 Originally planned as Great North Western Railway (GNWR) services they are now expected to be operated by sister Arriva company, Grand Central. 

Grand Central currently operates direct trains between towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East of England and London.

It says the services will bring significant economic benefits to the area including a boost for tourism and create jobs.

Up to five new direct services will run every day of the week under the plans. Blackpool will gain direct services to London on Sundays as well as later trains to and from the capital Monday to Saturday.

Poulton-le-Fylde and Kirkham and Wesham will each have new direct London services throughout the day, seven days a week.

All trains will also call at Preston and Nuneaton, with most stopping additionally at Milton Keynes, connecting leisure and businesses travellers to the capital and offering a choice of operator along with low cost fares. 

The expansion will bring significant economic benefits, empower communities and offer fantastic new career opportunities.

Richard McClean, managing director of Grand Central, said: “We are delighted to announce our plans to operate direct train services between London and Blackpool from early next year.

“We will bring our operational expertise and industry-leading customer service to this new route, offering more choice for existing rail users and new opportunities for people to travel by train.

“The expansion of our services will bring significant economic benefits, empower communities along the routes and offer fantastic new career opportunities. 

“For more than a decade, we have been dedicated to making travel affordable and enjoyable for people in the North East and across Yorkshire. This new chapter opens up these opportunities to the other side of the Pennines and beyond, ensuring rail remains relevant and accessible to as many people as possible.” 

The train operator’s expansion plans will create new jobs over the coming months. Grand Central will be recruiting drivers and on-board crew for its Blackpool traincrew hub.

It says that rain driver recruitment will begin soon. More information can be found at www.grandcentralrail.com/careers

Grand Central is part of the Arriva group. Arriva is one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe, employing more than 53,000 people and delivering two billion passenger journeys a year across 14 European countries.