New London-Edinburgh rail plans revealed

Berwick-upon-Tweed train station.
Berwick-upon-Tweed train station.

FirstGroup, the transport operator, is developing plans for a new service offering great value fares between London, North East England and Edinburgh.

As part of this process, the Group recently submitted a formal track access rights application to the Office of Rail Regulation who will consider the proposals alongside an industry consultation over the next few weeks.

If given approval, FirstGroup’s new open access operator will run several trains a day from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh, via intermediate stations.

Passengers would benefit from low fares, free Wi-Fi and onboard catering, all offered in one high-quality class of travel on brand new, state of the art rolling stock comparable to other trains being introduced on the route. If successful with the application it is planned that the new services will be introduced from 2018.

The service is designed specifically to encourage travellers to switch from air to rail as currently two thirds of journeys between the two capitals are made by plane.

Tim O’Toole, FirstGroup’s Chief Executive said: “These innovative plans will give customers travelling between London, the North East of England and Edinburgh an attractive alternative to flying. We hope to entice passengers away from budget airlines through our low fares and high-quality trains.”