Previously we have brought you news concerning First Group’s plans for open access rail between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh.
It had acquired five Hitachi trains from Italy and they were to be fitted out at the manufacturer’s UK plant.
Originally the service was due to launch in May 2021 but nothing further was heard.
One suspected the plan had been placed on the back burner because of uncertainty during the pandemic, along with the prospect of future changes in the rail industry.
However photos recently appeared on social media showing that First Group was preparing for a launch of Edinburgh service in the near future.
Here we see one of First Group’s freshly painted trains although the final touches have yet to be applied.
803001 for First East Coast Trains last night at York on its Test Runs…an 'Interior View' of seating layout!
Gets ready for lots of 'Ironing Board' comments?! 🙈😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/uE8f03RAHI
— john sparrow (@wallygridboy) May 27, 2021
These Hitachi trains are currently deployed for driver training over the East Coast Mainline.
Found the #ShinyBlueTrain earlier. It’s all-electric, all one class, and it’s going to run between Edinburgh, Morpeth, Newcastle and London in competition with budget airlines and overnight buses. pic.twitter.com/tBiUoG4bu8
— Angus Duncan (@Angus_Duncan) June 2, 2021
The link at the top of the page carries details of what the open access service will offer.
There will be as many as five London-Edinburgh services a day with stops in Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.
They will be one-class with tickets priced to compete with the likes of Easyjet. Average fares are said to be £25 or less.
A start date has yet to be announced. As 2021 is the European Year of Rail this development is to be welcomed.