Plan to launch new London rail service

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NEW rail services to London operated by a subsidiary of German national train company Deutsche Bahn could be launched through South Yorkshire under plans set to be submitted to Network Rail.

Alliance Rail Holdings is bidding to run trains every two hours in each direction on a route between London Kings Cross and Huddersfield, running up the East Coast Main Line then west from Retford, calling at Worksop, Sheffield, Meadowhall, Barnsley and Penistone.

The company, which would revive the old Great North Eastern Railways brand once used on the East Coast line, is also proposing four daily services in each direction between London Kings Cross and Cleethorpes, which would call at Doncaster and Thorne.

Alliance has made an initial application for permission to run services from West Yorkshire to London, which is being considered by Network Rail, and an application for the Huddersfield to London service could follow if the initial proposals are approved.

A spokesman for Alliance said: “Services outlined are planned to start in 2014 following the introduction of new rolling stock and following the provision of increased East Coast Main Line capacity.

“The considerable task of negotiating acceptance of the proposals is currently under way.”

Alliance’s new service would take around two hours to go from Sheffield to London, similar to journey times on the Midland Main Line.

But the company believes it would be able to gain market share from existing operator East Midlands Trains by offering a ‘simplified’ pricing structure like that operated by Grand Central and Hull Trains from Doncaster.

Cheap advance fares would not be available on the new trains but passengers purchasing tickets on the day of travel would pay considerably less than walk-on fares charged by ordinary train operating companies.

Deutsche Bahn is expanding rapidly in the UK. It already owns Arriva Trains.