15 April 2008

Through Cleethorpes to King's Cross train proposed

Grand Union Railway, sister company to Grand Central who currently operate a through service between Sunderland and King's Cross, is currently looking at the possibility of providing a through train service from Cleethorpes to London (King's Cross).

The company are already in the process of setting up a service from Bradford to Euston which they are hoping will commence in 2009. Other proposed through trains to London along with the Cleethorpes one, are from Huddersfield and from Scarborough.

The last of the daily through trains between Cleethorpes and King's Cross ran on 16 May 1993 and, despite objections in parliament and from the public, the service was withdrawn. Since then there have been many calls for its reinstatement and a number of proposals mooted, including one by Renaissance Trains (Humber Coast & City Railway), which would have operated via Lincoln and Newark.

The Grand Union service would call at Grimsby Town, Habrough, Scunthorpe, Thorne and Doncaster and thence operate via the East Coast Main Line. At present the proposals are in a very early stage and, should the company decide to progress with the plans, these could be submitted early in 2009 with a decision by the ORR (Office of the Rail Regulator) taken around 12 months later. It is hoped such a service could be in operation by 2012 although, as yet, no details are available on what type of rolling stock would be used.

Ian Yeowart, Grand Union's Managing Director commented, "The development of Grand Central's Sunderland services has shown what a boost new direct links are for towns and cities long removed from the inter-city network. We plan to use our knowledge and experience to bring these new additional services into operation, where we can make a good economic case, and look forward to working with the many stakeholders who would benefit from them. We have always had a knowledge of the area. There has been a lot of talk, but no one has taken the plunge. We are saying 'let's look at this in more detail'. By taking in Scunthorpe and Doncaster we think it can strengthen the economic case."

The proposal was also covered on the local BBC News, the feature can be seen by clicking here.

On 15 February 1987, 47566 is seen at Lincoln Central working the 1300 Cleethorpes to King's Cross. In this era the train was normally worked by an HST, but engineering work on this Sunday resulted in the change of motive power. Unlike previous proposals, Grand Union's planned service would operate via Doncaster instead of Lincoln and Newark.