Rochdale to London train service plans revealed by train company FirstGroup

Sheffield-London train service plans revealed by FirstGroupThe rail service would run directly from Rochdale to London. Credit: FirstGroup/ Lumo

Plans have been revealed for a new, faster and electrically powered train service between Rochdale and London by 2027.

FirstGroup plans to operate six return journeys a day, via Manchester Victoria, Eccles, Newton-le-Willows and Warrington Bank Quay.

If the proposals are approved, it will be the first time passengers have been able to catch a direct train from Rochdale to London since the year 2000.

All services on this new route would be electric and battery powered, and the service will be operated by brand new trains built in the UK, says FirstGroup.

Journeys could begin in the 2027 calendar year, and it is claimed it could provide a new rail service to 1.6 million people in the region at a "competitive price".

The company plans to expand its open access rail operations as part of its Lumo business, which launched in October 2021, and runs between London King's Cross and Edinburgh.

FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer, Graham Sutherland said: "We have seen the level of growth and opportunity that is possible with open access, as well as the positive effect it has on the wider market, including economic and environmental benefits.

"In addition, the new service will help to drive modal shift from road to rail between the North West and London.

"We will be working closely with stakeholders as we build our application and our case for this new service.”

"FirstGroup has submitted a formal application to the ORR. A consultation period will now follow, as well as discussion with Network Rail to secure the required approvals.

"It is anticipated that services could begin in the 2027 calendar year."

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