‘Open access’ operator Grand Central will be running direct trains between Blackpool and London Euston later this year.

It will be using four sets of Mark 4 coaches in six-car formations.

Grand Central says it will be investing £21 million on these trains and has leased 24 coaches and five locomotives to run daily services along the WCML to London Euston.

Some £1.5 million has been spent on the new livery and interior refresh including free wifi.

No detailed schedules are available at time of writing. But the Blackpool-Euston trains will be making several en route stops including Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.

In therefore means it will be competing against new WCML operator Avanti.

Grand Central currently operates along the ECML to London Kings Cross from points in Yorkshire and the Northeast.