New Train Services to Connect London and Greater Manchester

By Ivan PetrenkoMay 19, 2024 01:30 AMNews
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A white and red train on a station
Lumo brand expands to Rochdale. Source: unsplash

FirstGroup has announced plans to introduce new train services between London and Greater Manchester, aimed at enhancing rail travel and encouraging more people to opt for trains over cars.

Starting later this year, FirstGroup will operate six daily return trains between London Euston and Rochdale, with stops at Manchester Victoria, Eccles, Newton-le-Willows, and Warrington Bank Quay. This marks the first direct service from Rochdale to London since 2000.

These new services will utilize UK-built trains powered by electricity and batteries, promoting sustainable travel. Eccles station will serve as a key point for connecting Salford's MediaCity area with the capital.

The new train routes are expected to serve approximately 1.6 million people in the North West, offering a competitive and convenient alternative to coach and car travel. This initiative aims to reduce carbon emissions and alleviate road congestion by shifting more travelers to rail.

FirstGroup will operate these services under the Lumo brand, known for its London to Edinburgh route. Lumo operates on an open-access basis, taking on all revenue risk without taxpayer subsidies. The success of Lumo is hoped to be replicated on the new London-Rochdale route.

Government support plays a crucial role in this project. Measures are being introduced to facilitate more such schemes, ensuring the availability of unused track access slots and providing certainty over application assessments. Rail minister Huw Merriman has highlighted the benefits of open-access services in offering more choices to customers and increasing passenger numbers.

The new London to Greater Manchester train services by FirstGroup promise to revolutionize travel and tourism, promoting a sustainable, convenient, and efficient rail alternative to road transport.

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