New Stirling-London rail link planned by Grand Union

How a Grand Union train might look. Picture: Grand Union
How a Grand Union train might look. Picture: Grand Union
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A new rail service between London and Stirling has been proposed by Grand Union Trains.

Three or four services a day would operate to and from Euston via the west coast main line and Motherwell from 2021.

Grand Union plans to use LNER Class 91 electric locomotives and carriages for the service.

Grand Union plans to use LNER Class 91 electric locomotives and carriages for the service.

Trains would also call at Larbert, Greenfaulds, Whifflet, Lockerbie, Carlisle, Preston, Crewe, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes.

Northbound services would operate from 5:30am every three to four hours, with the last departing about 4:30pm.

Southbound trains would be between around 8:30am and 4:40pm.

Grand Union plans to use electric trains being replaced by east coast operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) with brand new Azumas.

READ MORE: Watch - LNER's first brand-new Azuma train reaches Edinburgh

LNER run one train a day in each direction between Stirling and London King's Cross via the east coast main line - the 5:26am from Stirling and the 3pm from London.

Grand Union chief executive Ian Yeowart said: “We have started discussions with stakeholders about making this a reality, focusing on delivering a number of new direct journey opportunities including linking a number of Central Scotland stations directly with London.

"We are very grateful for the positive response we have received.”

Rail campaigner Doug Carmichael said: "It will be good for those north of Stirling, with the Mark 4 carriages being reasonably comfortable, and hopefully will include a proper buffet service.

"Stirling is a delightful station to change/wait for connections.

"I hope pathing [track capacity] problems don't spoil the timings."

However, the plans are likely to be viewed as competition by First Trenitalia, which takes over Glasgow-London trains on the west coast route from Virgin in December.

The Office of Rail and Road regulator (ORR) said a decision was likely to be made early next year.

BACKGROUND: New operator promises better trains after being awarded west coast rail route from Scotland to London

Campaigners have called for the trains to stop at Carstairs to “open up upper Clydesdale for rail travel”.

In 2015, Mr Yeowart made an unsuccessful bid to run trains between Edinburgh and London on the east coast route by reviving the Great North Eastern Railway brand in competition with LNER's predecessor, Virgin Trains East Coast.

He proposed high-speed tilting trains with first class "cocoons" like the luxury reclining pods in airline business class.

However, the ORR approved instead an application by First, which is due to launch a budget service between the capitals in 2021.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: “We have noted the application from Grand Union Trains to operate an open service from Stirling to London via Motherwell.

"There is a defined process in place to handle applications of this kind and Transport Scotland looks forward to learning more in due course.”