New London To Stirling Rail Service to Stop At Lockerbie Station

ORR has  given the go-ahead for Grand Union Trains, an open access operator, to start a new train service between London and the city of Stirling, from June 2025. ORR’s decision will offer more choice to passengers, bring private sector investment to the railway and increase competition.

Grand Union Trains will introduce four new return services per day between London Euston and Stirling stations. These services will also call at Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton, Crewe (subject to agreement between Grand Union Trains and Network Rail), Preston, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell, Whifflet, Greenfaulds and Larbert. Larbert, Greenfaulds and Whifflet will receive their first direct services to London.

ORR found that the proposed services would increase choice for passengers, significantly increasing direct journey opportunities to and from London and central and southern Scotland, while making use of existing capacity on the network.

The new services will be the first run by an open access operator on the West Coast Mainline. Open access operators run services independently of government funding as they do not have a franchise agreement with government.

Following ORR’s decision to approve new Grand Union Trains services between Carmarthen in south Wales and London Paddington in 2022, ORR has now approved open access services on three of Britain’s major routes.

Stephanie Tobyn, Director, Strategy, Policy and & Reform, said:

“Our decision helps increase services for passengers and boost competition on Britain’s railway network. By providing more trains serving new destinations, open access operators offer passengers more choice in the origin and price of their journey leading to better outcomes for rail users.”

RAIL campaigner and local MP David Mundell has expressed the hope that the arrival of a new operator at Lockerbie Station could signal better times ahead.

He welcomes a decision by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to approve an application by Grand Union Trains to run four daily return services between London and Stirling.

Mr Mundell, a regular user of Lockerbie Station, stated he was delighted the company had sought to stop their new trains at the Mid Annandale town and that the increased competition would be a force for good.

He said: “The catalogue of late trains and service cancellations in recent years affecting Lockerbie has been a disgrace.
“With the impact of Covid hopefully behind us and demand for train travel growing again, I believe improving rail services is an even higher national priority.
“Grand Union’s interest in stopping their new services at Lockerbie from summer next year is a vote of confidence in the regional strategic importance of the station.”

The rail regulator pointed out Grand Union Trains aimed to increase the number of services, destinations served and increase choice.

In addition to Euston, Stirling and Lockerbie, the other stations served are Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton, Crewe, Preston, Carlisle, Motherwell, Whifflet, Greenfaulds and Larbert.

Mr Mundell added: “With further parking now in the pipeline, I will continue to press for long overdue improved train services and the reliability my constituents deserve, hopefully allowing Lockerbie Station to reach full potential.”

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