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Direct Blackpool to London rail link deal

File photo dated 15/8/2012 of a Virgin train, as Virgin Trains today promised to increase capacity on the West Coast mainline after it secured a deal to continue running the franchise until March 2017. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 19, 2014. The operator said there will be

File photo dated 15/8/2012 of a Virgin train, as Virgin Trains today promised to increase capacity on the West Coast mainline after it secured a deal to continue running the franchise until March 2017. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 19, 2014. The operator said there will be "significant improvements" for customers with the introduction of free superfast WiFi, more seats and new services. See PA story CITY Virgin. Photo credit should read: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Virgin Rail has secured a new £430m deal to run the West Coast Main Line – and in doing so bring direct rail links from Blackpool to London.

It aims to start the new service from December, boosting connections for passengers.

More than 5,000 readers signed a petition last year for the Gazette’s On Track To The Capital campaign to see it restored.

The Office of Rail Regulation has previously rejected an application by Virgin to run additional services because of limited capacity.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “This deal will provide thousands more seats and better journeys for the tens of thousands of passengers who use these services every day.

“The West Coast provides a vital artery between London and Scotland and it is crucial we do everything we can to improve services on this much-used route.”

FOR THE FULL STORY SEE TOMORROW’S BLACKPOOL GAZETTE

 

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