More trains will stop at Morpeth

More Virgin Trains will be arriving at Morpeth. Picture by Geoff Stainthorpe.
More Virgin Trains will be arriving at Morpeth. Picture by Geoff Stainthorpe.

More inter-city trains will be stopping off in south-east Northumberland.

From Sunday, Virgin Trains are providing two new weekday services leaving London at 9.30am and 1.30pm and arriving at Morpeth at 12.57pm and 4.57pm on their way to Edinburgh.

Southbound, new trains will leave Edinburgh at 2pm and 6.30pm, and arrive at Morpeth 3.14pm and 7.54pm, before continuing on to London.

There are also new weekend services, with later departures from Edinburgh to Morpeth on Friday and Saturday nights, and two extra services each way on Sundays.

The news has been welcomed by SENRUG (South East Northumberland Rail User Group).

Chairman Dennis Fancett said: “We are delighted to welcome these new services.

“It will now be possible to catch a direct train from London to Morpeth on weekday mornings, and additionally we will have off-peak Virgin trains between Morpeth and both London and Edinburgh.

“We have been in negotiations with Virgin for some time, articulating the business case of Morpeth, and are pleased our arguments have been listened to.”

SENRUG are also hosting a public meeting on Monday, December 12, at Morpeth Town Hall with guest speaker Neal Smith from Virgin Trains. There will be an opportunity to put questions or give feedback to Neil about any aspect of the company’s operation.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm, and all are welcome.

Claire Ansley, general manager for Virgin Trains on its East Coast route, said: “We’re really pleased to launch extra services for Morpeth, with no fewer than 26 new departures from Morpeth per week, which we think is great news for customers.

“While developing our new timetable, we’ve listened very carefully to customers and communities across Northumberland, and this has included the reinstatement of a popular weekday service which will depart from Edinburgh at 6.30pm, as well as the introduction of later departures from Edinburgh on Friday and Saturday evenings.

“SENRUG has very much helped to shape many of our improvements for Morpeth and I would like to thank them for their continued support and commitment to working with Virgin Trains.

“These additional services are being introduced just over eighteen months before we launch our new Virgin Azuma trains, which will significantly improve the speed, comfort and frequency of services on the route.”

For more on SENRUG visit www.senrug.co.uk