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Carlisle to get hourly trains to London

There will be two extra trains between Cumbria and London when Virgin brings in a new timetable on December 10.

Virgin train photo
Virgin will provide an extra 1,750 seats a day

The company is plugging gaps in the schedule to provide a regular hourly service to the capital throughout the day.

The changes will provide an extra 1,750 seats per day and mean there will be 15 trains each way between Glasgow and London.

That is twice the number that ran when Virgin took over the West Coast Main Line in 1997.

Karen Hattie, general manager for Virgin Trains in Scotland and Cumbria, said: “Overall passenger numbers have more than doubled on our routes.

“Demand for travel between Glasgow, Cumbria and London has grown steadily since the last big timetable improvement in 2008-9.

“The extra capacity from December will provide a great opportunity for even more passengers to enjoy the service.”

Under the new timetable, the first weekday departure from Carlisle is at 5.43am. Trains then leave at around 10 to the hour, every hour, until 7.49pm.

Most take just over three hours and 20 minutes to reach London. Eight call at Penrith on the way.

Northbound, trains leave London Euston for Carlisle at 5.39am, 7.30am, then every hour until 3.30pm, 4.57pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Nine stop at Penrith.

Advance single fares to London start at £16.

Virgin’s franchise had been due to end on December 9.

The Government announced this summer that First Group would take on the route.

But Virgin mounted a legal challenge and more than 170,000 people signed an online petition asking ministers to think again.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin halted the transfer earlier this month when he admitted that mistakes had been made in the franchising process.

He announced last week that Virgin would continue to run trains for at least nine months while the franchise is retendered.

Have your say

It's great news if you live in carlisle but not for us live outside, I live within walking distance of our railway station but would still need to drive and pay to park in carlisle all day while we are not even in the city, to catch a train to London as the connections from our town to carlisle are not the best! Would be great if at least one train in the morning was earlier and a later night train, we can struggle to have a decent day out in Glasgow due to the lack of connections to and from carlisle let alone get to London and back in a day which would be doable If a reasonable connection was in place. The last train from carlisle heading west in an evening is before 10pm!! Hardly encourages locals to head into carlisle for a night out either drinking, for a meal, to see a show or the cinema let alone trying for a day out outside Cumbria!!!

Posted by In the sticks on 13 November 2012 at 23:44

@ John, I don't think he meant that the fares would be free!

Posted by Andy on 29 October 2012 at 18:22

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