Open Access Services from London to Stirling Gain ORR Approval

The Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has provided approval for Grand Union Trains to launch an open access rail service between London and Stirling, Scotland from June 2025.

This decision will help deliver a greater choice in rail services for passengers while bringing private sector investment into the industry and increasing competition.

Grand Union Trains will start a new train service between London and the city of Stirling
Grand Union Trains will start a new train service between London and the city of Stirling

Grand Union Trains will introduce four new return services per day between London Euston and Stirling stations. These trains will also stop at Milton Keynes Central, Nuneaton, Crewe, Preston, Carlisle, Lockerbie, Motherwell, Whifflet, Greenfaulds and Larbert. With this launch, Larbert, Greenfaulds and Whifflet will gain their first direct services to London.

These services will be run without government funding, as open access operators do not have franchise agreements with the government.

ORR has approved this launch based on its findings that the proposed service would make use of existing capacity on the network to significantly increase direct journey opportunities to and from London and central and southern Scotland.

Stephanie Tobyn, Director, Strategy, Policy and & Reform, said:

“Our decision helps increase services for passengers and boost competition on Britain’s railway network. By providing more trains serving new destinations, open access operators offer passengers more choice in the origin and price of their journey leading to better outcomes for rail users.”

This approval enables Grand Union Trains to be the first open access operator to provide services on the West Coast Mainline. It follows ORR’s decision to also approve new Grand Union Trains services between Carmarthen in south Wales and London Paddington in 2022.

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