A new train line from London to Manchester could improve connectivity following HS2 cancellation

A new train line from London to Manchester could improve connectivity following HS2 cancellation

Plans for new trains with ‘up to 50% cheaper fares’ between London and Manchester have been revealed after the cancellation of HS2 plans last year.

A fleet of multi-million-pound electric trains could help to improve connections between the capital and the north of England, supporting businesses and individuals across the country.

Connectivity and transport are key drivers for economic growth and improved connections with the capital will be welcome news for businesses and investors in our region.

London Northwestern Railway unveiled plans to launch a new train service in the next two years after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s controversial decision to scrap the northern leg of the much-anticipated high-speed railway. The company is now seeking permission to extend its existing service, which currently runs from London Crew to Manchester Victoria via the West Midlands.

The planned route will connect the West Midland towns of Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth and Atherstone to Manchester city centre and Warrington.

The trains are set to bring more capacity to the popular route, with each 10-car train able to accommodate over 1,200 passengers.

The trains, promoted as environmentally friendly, offer customer fares up to ‘50% cheaper than the main intercity operator,’

Ian McConnell, managing director of London Northwestern Railway-owner West Midlands Trains. said ‘This proposal puts passengers at the heart of the railway and is the common sense solution to increase connectivity between the North West and the West Midlands following the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2.

‘With platform space at Euston at a premium, the best way to provide new journey opportunities to Manchester is simply to extend existing services, rather than trying to squeeze more trains onto the congested West Coast Main Line.

‘Additionally, unlike the open access model, the millions of pounds of extra revenue our proposals would generate will be returned to the taxpayer, providing a win-win for rail passengers.’

Now, the operator is seeking permission from the Department for Transport and the watchdog Office of Rail and Road (ORR). It will make a bid later this year to use the same track space on the West Coast Main Line as Virgin Trains and Lumo have announced open access bids for.