Blackpool to London train service plans scrapped due to coronavirus

Grand Central trains had proposed to link Blackpool and London Euston. Credit: PA

Plans for a train service between Blackpool and London have been scrapped because of Covid-19.

Rail chiefs at Grand Central said the proposed route was no longer viable due to economic uncertainty and changed travel patterns.

The firm's managing director, Richard McClean, said: "So much effort has been put into these exciting plans to launch services between London and Blackpool that it is heartbreaking to have to abandon them at this point but the pandemic and its effect on our expansion plans have just proved too big an obstacle.

"Despite months of work to adjust our costs and monitor travel behaviour for signs of change it became more obvious to us that to invest in what is essentially a start-up enterprise in this climate was simply not feasible and therefore we reluctantly reached the very tough decision to cease the project permanently."

The proposed expansion of Grand Central's services would have linked communities in Blackpool, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes directly to London Euston.

Offices had been set up in the Lancashire resort as part of the project with extra staff taken on, including drivers.

Talks are under way between affected employees and rail unions over potential job losses.