Open access operator submits East Coast application

An open access operator hoping to run train services on the East Coast main line between King’s Cross and Edinburgh from 2016 has submitted a formal application to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

Great North Eastern Railway (GNER), which is a subsidiary of the Arriva-owned Alliance Rail Holdings, has said it hopes to run nine-car Pendolino trains on the East Coast main line, cutting journey times from an average of four hours 20 minutes to three hours 43 minutes.

Alliance Rail Holdings plans to purchase a fleet of next generation tilting Pendolinos which it says would offer significant reductions in journey times.

Ian Yeowart, managing director of Alliance Rail Holdings, GNER’s parent company said: “We have been very encouraged by the support we have received from a number of consultees, and by the more progressive view coming from Government.

“With so many northern communities like Hull, Sunderland, Bradford, Halifax, Teesside and Hartlepool benefiting from open access services, it would be extremely unfortunate if the opportunity to introduce a new open access high speed service by 2016 was not taken – particularly as it would provide Scotland with its first open access rail service and create a significant number of new jobs in Scotland and the North East of England.”