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Station upgrade plan revealed

By Charlotte MacKay
Station upgrade plan revealed

LOCKERBIE railway station could be upgraded as part of plans for a new Stirling to London rail service.

This week Grand Union officially submitted an application to the Office of Rail and Road for a new service that would run four times a day between Stirling and London Euston, calling at Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet, Motherwell, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.

And the rail company said they are entering talks to see how Lockerbie railway station could be upgraded as part of the plans.

If the application is successful the service could start as early as May 2021, with the creation of about 100 new full time jobs along the route.

Grand Union director of marketing and development David Prescott said: “Each station has been chosen because of the benefits and opportunities it brings.

“Grand Union’s service will open up tourism opportunities, improve business options, provide new leisure travel opportunities and help reduce people’s reliance on air travel.

“We will be able to provide people a faster and more comfortable journey and eliminate the need to change trains by avoiding Glasgow and Edinburgh, meaning people will be able to complete the journey from Stirling to London in just over five and a half hours.

“We are planning to start discussions with Transport Scotland, local authorities and ScotRail to discuss how we can invest in station upgrades at Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet and Lockerbie to improve passenger and staff facilities, matching these stations with standards along Intercity train routes.”

Grand Union is proposing to create a new base of operations in Scotland where the trains would be maintained, with an additional base at Preston or Crewe.

The route would use Class 91 locomotives with up to nine Mark 4 coaches and a driving van trailer on each service, similar to those currently in use on the East Coast Main Line.

Grand Union says it would offer a unique seat guarantee to passengers, ensuring a seat is part of the ticket price for journeys over 30 minutes and offering discounts or refunds if they are unable to provide one.

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