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London calling!

Section:  Annan and Eskdale, Dumfries and West, Lockerbie and Lochmaben, Moffat  | Tags:

A NEW direct rail service from the region to London is in the works.

Grand Union Trains are looking into running three or four ser- vices a day to and from Euston via the West Coast Main line from 2021.

They plan to use LNER Class 91 electric locomotives and carriages for the service.

Trains would also call at Larbert, Green- faulds, Whifflet, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.

This would allow the regions rail users to travel to the UK’s biggest city without the need of changing trains.

Grand Union chief executive Ian Yeowart said: “We have started discussions with stake- holders about making this a reality, focusing on delivering a number of new direct journey opportunities includ- ing linking a number of Central Scotland stations directly with London.

“We are very grate- ful for the positive response we have received.”

Meanwhile, there is bad news on the horizon for direct services to Edinburgh in the region.

Politician father and son MP David and MSP Oliver Mundell have lashed out at timetable changes which are set to come into effect from December 15 and which see the scrapping of both the 10.30 am and 2.30 pm trains to the capital from Lockerbie station.

In exchange a 12.30 pm slot has been created – but the Mundells say this just is not good enough and have launched a petition to save the servcies.

A spokesperson from TransPennine Express said: “From December 15 we will be introducing a new timetable on our Anglo-Scottish route which will see a 10 per cent increase in the number of calls that we make at Lockerbie, including a new early morning commuter service between Carlisle – Lockerbie – Edinburgh Waverley, along with additional services at the weekend and new direct services to Liverpool.

“Due to capacity constraints on the West Coast Main Line, some current daytime calls at Lockerbie for Edinburgh are affected from December. We would have liked to have maintained the 10.32 am and 2.31 pm calls at Lockerbie but this was not operationally possible in December due to changes in other services which would have meant the train losing its slot into Edinburgh Waverley.

“We are working with rail industry colleagues to try and have the stops reinstated in the May 2020 timetable change, alongside the new 12.32 pm stop.“

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