Extra trains will link Preston to London

Virgin Pendolino
Virgin Pendolino
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Preston is on track for 35 extra train services to London from next month.

The new timetable announced today will see Virgin Trains put on an extra 16,400 seats a week from Preston to the capital.

It comes as the company prepares to launch additional direct services between London and Blackpool with Pendolino trains.

The company which operates the West Coast Main Line franchise is preparing to introduce the longer, faster tilting trains from May 21 following electrification of the route by Network Rail.

Peter Broadley, executive director of customer, operations and safety at Virgin Trains on the west coast, said: “At Virgin Trains we’re really pleased to be strengthening our services at Preston – providing the city with more frequent connections between London and Blackpool with our Pendolino trains.

“We have been proud to play our part in transforming

Preston’s connectivity over the last 20 years and we’re sure our additional services will provide increased opportunities for Lancashire and be a welcome boost to the local community.

“We look forward to welcoming people on-board the new services when they launch next month.”

The extra weekday services will see three additional northbound services between Preston and Blackpool and three additional southbound services to London, calling at Rugby, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western and Preston.

In addition, Preston will benefit from connections to Blackpool and London on

Saturdays with six services (three to Blackpool North and three to London), providing more opportunities at the weekend.

It is the first time Virgin Trains has served Blackpool at the weekend since reintroducing direct services to the seaside resort in December 2014.

Testing of the infrastructure is due to take place over the coming weeks in the run-up to the launch of the first services.