Train operator East Coast today unveils an exciting new timetable which represents the biggest change to the East Coast route for 20 years.
Tickets will for the new timetable will go on sale on 25 February.
The new timetable, which will operate from 22 May, will bring more than three million additional seats per year to the East Coast route, 19 new services per weekday, an improved frequency and pattern of services, and faster typical journeys for millions of passengers.
It will add new direct return services from London King’s Cross to Lincoln and Harrogate, and a new four-hour ‘Flying Scotsman’ express service between Edinburgh and London King’s Cross, calling at Newcastle only and arriving into London at 09.40.
Customers will also see the introduction of a new, improved on-board service from May. This will include complimentary meals and drinks served at-seat in First Class.
East Coast Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “The launch of an exciting new timetable on 22 May represents the biggest change to the East Coast route in a generation. It will deliver more services, more seats and a much improved pattern of services for millions of passengers.
“The launch of an improved complimentary at-seat service in First Class will build upon improvements already made in Standard Class.”
The timetable has been developed on behalf of the rail industry by Network Rail. East Coast substantially influenced this process following a consultation on a draft version of the timetable, which was then titled Eureka!
Karen Boswell said: “As we have developed the timetable, we have taken into account future growth and demand, as well as the views and aspirations of a wide range of customers and stakeholders along the entire 920-mile East Coast route.”
From 22 May, East Coast customers will benefit from:
• A new early morning four-hour “Flying Scotsman” service between Edinburgh and London, calling only at Newcastle;
• A train every 30 minutes between Leeds and London King’s Cross, with 65 services per weekday between West Yorkshire and the capital;
• 11 new non-stop services per day between York and London;
• A northbound direct service from London to Harrogate for the first time in 20 years;
• A new daily service between Lincoln and London;
• One hour later weekday departures to Edinburgh, Berwick-upon-Tweed and Newcastle from London King’s Cross;
• Improvements to services for Northumberland stations, including a new early-morning service from Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnmouth and Morpeth which connects into the ‘Flying Scotsman’ service at Newcastle. This will enable customers from Northumberland to arrive into London at 09.40;
• Improvements to Newark morning peak services to London King’s Cross, with two additional new services.
Services between London and Hull, Bradford, Skipton, Aberdeen and Inverness will continue to operate similar to the current timetable. One East Coast service will continue to operate in each direction between Glasgow Central and London King’s Cross, via Motherwell, each day.
Karen Boswell added: “Among the many benefits to passengers, we are delighted to introduce a new return service between Lincoln and London, and the first direct northbound service to Harrogate in almost 20 years.
“A new four-hour ‘Flying Scotsman’ service from Edinburgh to London on weekday mornings, which stops at Newcastle and connects with Northumberland stations, will also help us to continue to meet our customers’ needs and offer a very attractive alternative to flying.”
A copy of the new timetable will be available at www.eastcoast.co.uk/22May from 09.00 today (Monday 14 February).
Notes to Editors:
On Monday to Thursday, East Coast currently operates 136 train services along the East Coast Main Line, linking London King's Cross, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland. On Friday, it currently operates 137 train services.
From 22 May 2011, on Monday to Thursday, East Coast will operate 155 train services, and on Fridays, it will operate 156 services.
Passengers made more than 18 million journeys in 2010.