04/05/12 – Alliance Rail Press Release

ALLIANCE RAIL HOLDINGS RESTATES ITS POSITION ON NEW RAIL SERVICES FOR THE WEST COAST MAIN LINE

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has recently announced that due to the continuing uncertainty over the longer term development of the West Coast Main Line (WCML) timetable, it is unable to make a decision at this time in respect of the Alliance application for a significant number of new trains between important northern towns and cities and London Euston.

The ORR has recently made it clear it wishes to encourage further competition, and has laid out a framework for achieving it. Alliance is fully supportive of that position.

Alliance Managing Director Ian Yeowart said: “The West Coast Main Line is a vitally important rail artery, and we will continue to work with Network Rail, the industry and the ORR to identify the capacity needed to deliver our new services in 2015 as planned. The suspension of our application gives the industry time to focus on creating a new timetable that provides the space for an increase in services that will serve significant new destinations and give more choice for passengers.

“The introduction of new open access services – those outside a franchise – has always taken a significant amount of time. The challenges faced in the five years it took to establish Grand Central services between London King’s Cross and Sunderland and Bradford are identical to those now being addressed by Alliance.

“Alliance has supplied a significant amount of supporting information to the ORR in respect of this application, and it is now down to the industry to work collaboratively to ensure the significant investment made in upgrading the WCML can benefit the maximum number of people.”

If you would like more information about this subject visit the website at: www.alliancerail.co.uk or to schedule an interview, please call:

Neil Yeowart at 01904 628904 or email ny@alliancerail.co.uk or:
Chris Brandon at 01904 628904 or email cb@alliancerail.co.uk

Notes to editors

Alliance is planning to run up to 60 trains a day on the WCML from the 2015 timetable. Trains will be operated by The Great North Western Railway Co. Ltd. (GNWR) and will be operated by brand new trains capable of the maximum line speed.

Trains are due to operate between:

• Leeds and Huddersfield to London Euston
• Bradford, Halifax and Rochdale to London Euston
• Blackpool to London Euston
• Barrow in Furness and the Cumbrian Coast to London Euston

Grand Central began operating in 2007 and runs four trains daily between London King’s Cross and Sunderland, and three trains daily between London King’s Cross and Halifax and Bradford. Grand Central has submitted an application to operate an additional service on each of these two routes from December 2012.