Virgin Trains have announced 42 new services a week between Edinburgh and London this May, boosting seat capacity by 22,000 a week on the route, which is an increase of nearly a third.
The service will now run every 30 minutes for most of the day, giving those in Newcastle more chances to travel to both the Scottish and English capitals.
The service formally ran between Newcastle and London but will now continue to Edinburgh to create an upsurge in cross-border travel.
UK Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The UK government knows how important the railways are to keeping Britain connected, which is why we are investing over £38 billion on the network in this parliament.”
- The new timetable will see four new departures from Edinburgh on weekdays, at 09:00, 13:00, 16:00 and 19:35, taking the total southbound trains to London to 25. The new services previously started from Newcastle.
- In the northbound direction departures from King’s Cross at 06:15, 10:30, 13:30 and 17:30 will be extended to terminate at Edinburgh instead of Newcastle, taking the total to 23 on weekdays.
- On Sundays, two new services will be added to the timetable, boosting capacity between Edinburgh, Newcastle and London. This will result in two additional Edinburgh-London services, one southbound and one northbound.
- The new timetable takes effect from May 16, 2016. Tickets are expected to go on sale from Friday, 19 February. The 24wk booking window applies to services between London and north of York (eg Edinburgh, Newcastle). It has been in place previously for services Monday to Friday, and is now being extended to weekend services as well.
Virgin Trains will go through a £21m refurbishment of its fleet – including brand new leather seats in first class, new standard class seating, carpets and lighting.