New direct train service between Larbert and London Euston given the go-ahead

A new train service linking Larbert directly with London has been given the go-ahead.
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The latest access decision by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) provides more services for rail passengers travelling between London and central Scotland.

Great Union Trains, an open access operator, has been given the green light to start a new train service between London and Stirling from June 2025.

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The operator will introduce four new return services per day between London Euston and Stirling, with its stops including Larbert.

A new rail service linking Larbert directly with London Euston has been given the green light.A new rail service linking Larbert directly with London Euston has been given the green light.
A new rail service linking Larbert directly with London Euston has been given the green light.

It will also stop at Greenfaulds, Whifflet, Motherwell, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central.

It will be the first direct services to London from Larbert, Greenfaulds and Whifflet.

The ORR’s decision will offer more choice to passengers, bring private sector investment to the railway and increase competition.

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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.

Stephanie Tobyn ORR 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.”

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The decision to link Stirling with London Euston comes at a time when a consultation is being run by rail operator LNER on proposals to cease direct services between Stirling and London King’s Cross later this year.

LNER is currently holding a public consultation to seek views on proposals which would see a direct service which starts and ends at Stirling, stopping at Falkirk Grahamston, removed from its December 2024 timetable.

The train operator says the once daily services in each direction, outside peak hours, typically see “substantially fewer” customers onboard as travel patterns have shifted in recent years from business to leisure.

The proposed changes would see the current 5.34am Stirling to London King’s Cross service start at Edinburgh, with a service no longer calling at Falkirk Grahamston at 5.47am. The current 3pm London King’s Cross to Stirling service would terminate at Edinburgh, so there would be no LNER service stopping at Grahamston at 7.58pm.

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However, LNER would still call at Stirling and Falkirk Grahamston as part of its daily service to and from Inverness.

There’s still time for members of the public to have their say on the LNER timetable changes, with the consultation due to close on Monday, March 18.

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