East Coast adds direct Stirling and Sunderland services

26 Sep 2015 by Tom Otley

Virgin Trains East Coast has added direct services to Sunderland and Stirling from London Kings Cross. The new services commence from Monday 14 December.

Both services will feature early morning departures making them ideal for a day of business or leisure in London.

The additional weekday Stirling service has a 05.26 weekday departure, arriving in London King’s Cross at 10.52. This is 46 minutes faster than the existing 05.30 departure, which requires a change of train and arrives in London at 11.42.

The train will also call at Falkirk Grahamston, and will link with the existing 06.26 departure from Edinburgh Waverley. The return service will depart London King’s Cross at 15.00, arriving in Stirling at 20.16.

Customers in Sunderland will see a new 05.40 departure, arriving in London King’s Cross at 09.08. With the return service departing London at 20.00, both services will be faster than existing direct trains to Sunderland, by seven minutes southbound and 11 minutes northbound.

David Horne, Managing Director at Virgin Trains, said: “This is a hugely exciting day for us as we move towards operating more services, and adding Sunderland to the Virgin rail map.

“The new services mark a major milestone in Virgin Trains’ ambitious plans to transform services on its East Coast route, which also includes £140m investment to deliver an improved service and more personalised customer experience.

“Business customers have been calling for more early-morning departures that will give them a longer day in the capital and we’re delighted to be delivering on our promise by launching these extra services.”

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The new Sunderland service will provide better journeys for customers across the region and boost economic ties between the north east and the capital, stimulating growth.  It will play an important role in our ambitious plans to build a Northern Powerhouse and create a balanced, healthier economy.

“Along with the additional services for Scotland and Yorkshire, this is further proof that the new East Coast franchise is delivering real benefits for customers across the UK.”

Tom Otley


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