Arriva’s big bid to run new rail links to London

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Ambitious plans to run six new daily rail services between Blackpool and London have been approved by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

The application to operate six return train services each day, including weekends, was given the go-ahead today.

The bid was submitted by Great North Western Railway (GNWR), an Arriva company and a sister company of Grand Central, which operates passenger services between the North East and West Yorkshire to London.

Arriva said it will be investing in new tilting trains and will create 120 new jobs.

Ian Yeowart, managing director of Alliance Rail Holdings, which helped to submit the application, said: “We are naturally delighted that the ORR has approved our application to deliver a new direct rail service linking Blackpool and London.

“The introduction of these new services will further grow the market for rail travel.

“As well as bringing new direct services to a number of locations, notably Blackpool, it will give passengers further choice.”

Virgin Rail currently runs two services a day between the resort and the capital following a Gazette campaign which saw more than 5,000 people from the Fylde coast back the idea.