New trains between London and North Wales proposed after 13 years of no direct services

By Staff

New trains between London and North Wales have been proposed after more than a decade of no services. Terminating at Wrexham – a town made world famous by the takeover of its football club by actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney – passengers will also be able to travel to the Midlands and Shropshire under the plans.

Services would run between North Wales and London Euston five times a day, calling at Milton Keynes, Nuneaton, Coleshill Parkway, Walsall, Darlaston, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Shrewsbury and Gobowen too. Avanti West Coast is to withdraw its current daily return service between London Euston and Shrewsbury in June, reports BusinessLive.

Around 13 years ago, the train company Wrexham and Shropshire, which operated between London Marylebone and Wrexham via Shrewsbury, stopped trading due to mounting losses. Now, train and rail infrastructure supplier Alstom has said its planned reintroduction of services will offer passengers new direct links, quicker journeys and ‘more competitive fares’.

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Named the Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway (WSMR), the project is being developed in partnership with consultancy SLC Rail. An application to run services was submitted to regulator the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) on Thursday.

WSMR estimates it would serve a core catchment area of around 1.5 million people outside London, a population that it says is set to grow by 16 per cent over the next decade. Trains will ‘avoid’ Birmingham, planners say, due to its ‘complexity’.

Trains would avoid ‘complex’ Birmingham

A spokesperson for the project said: “In the West Midlands, WSMR trains will avoid Birmingham – one of the most complex and congested parts of the British rail network – by utilising the Sutton Park line, which is currently only used for freight services. This would enable Wolverhampton and Walsall to serve Nuneaton directly for the first time, offering new travel options across the West Midlands, North Warwickshire and beyond.”

Nick Crossfield, Alstom managing director, UK and Ireland, said: “As the country’s leading supplier of rolling stock and train services, it makes perfect sense that we now move into operating our own fleet to serve passengers directly. Having been part of the fabric of UK rail for two centuries, we’re excited to enter this new era as an open-access operator.

“Alstom is also committed to embedding sustainability into every element of our organisation, and WSMR will help drive a modal shift from road to rail by offering a greener alternative for travellers across England and Wales.”

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