Delight at extra Morecambe to Leeds trains

A pacer train at Long Preston. Photo by Gerald Townson.
A pacer train at Long Preston. Photo by Gerald Townson.

More trains will run from Morecambe to Leeds after a new company takes over the northern rail franchise in 2016.

The new services will allow passengers from Morecambe to arrive in Leeds before 9am.

The changes will come into effect after three companies, Abellio, Arriva and Govia, bid for the new Northern Rail franchise in 2016.

They are part of sweeping plans to improve northern railway services by adding extra trains throughout the region.

Gerald Townson from the Lancaster and Skipton Rail Users Group (LASRUG) said: “It’s the biggest change there’s been since the early 1990s and folk are very upbeat about it.

“There may also be extra trains between Morecambe and Lancaster.”

There are currently five weekday trains each way between Leeds, Lancaster and Morecambe. By 2019 at the latest these are to be increased to seven, timed to provide commuter trains to and from Lancaster and Leeds, a later last train from Leeds, and a roughly two-hourly service through the day.

The Sunday service is to increase from four to five trains each way.

Bids for the franchise have to be submitted by June 26, and the contract will be awarded by the end of the year.
The Government has also ordered removal of existing Pacer trains, modernisation of all northern trains, free wi-fi on all northern trains by 2020 and will invest £30m in stations along the northern franchise route.