Mirfield gets direct rail services to and from London
The green light has been given by the Office of Rail Regulation allowing Grand Central Railway to run direct rail connections between Mirfield and London.
The new arrangements start this Sunday, 11 December, and coincide with the start of a new train timetable. Mirfield will benefit from three southbound train services to London during the week. Those returning during the week will have a choice of two return services.
For those travelling at weekends, on Saturdays passengers will have a choice of two southbound services, with three services travelling in the opposite direction. On Sundays there will be a choice of three services in both directions.
The stops at Mirfield have come about as a result of an application by Grand Central Railway to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), followed by extensive consultation with Network Rail and other industry stakeholders.
Grand Central Railway has been operating long distance rail services between West Yorkshire and London for the past 18 months, with services from Bradford and calling at Halifax and Brighouse, as well as Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill and Doncaster. It also operates long distance services between Sunderland and London on its North Eastern route and has attracted some 700,000 passengers per year.
Tom Clift, Managing Director of Grand Central Railway, said: "We are delighted to have been given permission to serve Mirfield. The town and its surroundings offer a considerable catchment for those who travel to London regularly, whether for business or pleasure. We also recognise the tourism potential of Kirklees in attracting passengers in the opposite direction. Now that the green light has been given, we shall continue discussions with Metro and Northern Rail to seek improvements to the station."
Cllr Pat Sutcliffe, Chair of Mirfield Town Council, said "This is great news for Mirfield and for Kirklees. It gives such a boost to our local community. For years Mirfield has been recognised as a relatively affluent community. It is a busy town and has a lot of commuters. Until now passengers heading for London have had to travel to either Wakefield or Leeds. Now we have a direct link with the capital I am thrilled to bits."
Grand Central Railway is an open access operator. It does not receive a Government subsidy and is not part of the Department of Transport's franchise regime. On 11 November the firm announced that it had been bought by Arriva Trains UK, which is part of the Deutsche Bahn Group of Companies.
Notes for editors
Due to the last minute announcement from the ORR, the fare for Mirfield will not be in railway retail systems for about another week. The equivalent Brighouse fare will be used for the purposes of ticket sales.
Tickets are available between Mirfield and London Kings Cross from as little as £19 when you book in advance – see www.grandcentralrail.com for details.
For any further help or info call Phil Bustard on 07891 219715, Suzanne Gill on 07805 944713 or Rupert Brennan Brown on 07973 950923