Blackpool to London train service is relaunched

Blackpoll to london virgin trainAt the end of 2014 just before the Christmas holidays Blackpool saw the re launch of a direct Virgin Trains service to the capital.

The Blackpool to London train service is back after eleven years of absence. The previous direct service ran until it was cancelled in 2003 due to a lack of demand.

The new train service will depart from Blackpool at 05:25 and is due to call also at Kirkham & Wesham, Poulton-le-Fylde, Preston, Wigan North Western, Warrington Bank Quay, Crewe and Nuneaton before arriving in London at 08:34. The return service from London Euston departs at 16:33 and arrives back in Blackpool at 19:31.

At the same time Virgin Trains also introduced the London to Shrewsbury train service.

The new services are part of a range of improvements on the West Coast Main Line route that coincide with the award of Virgin Trains’ extended franchise.

Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Patrick McLoughin, MP and Daniel Kawczynski, MP travelled on Monday’s 0639 Shrewsbury to London departure, to mark the occasion, both having been instrumental in getting the green light for the new services.

Patrick McLoughlin commented, “This is another sign of the renaissance in Britain’s railways, and we are already seeing more services, more passenger journeys, and more jobs being generated by the industry. Our rail network is a key part of our long term economic plan which is why more than £38billion will be invested in maintaining and upgrading the network over the next five years.”

To celebrate the launch, characters including Sherlock Holmes, a Beefeater, Pearly King and Queen, and Covent Garden street performers delighted crowds on Blackpool Pier and outside Shrewsbury’s Market Hall, highlighting that travellers can now travel direct to London Euston in just 2hrs 36mins from Shrewsbury and 3hrs 9mins from Blackpool.

Blackpool North will also benefit from the introduction of a daily trip to London Euston (Monday-Friday).

“It’s an exciting time for everyone involved with Virgin Trains,” commented Phil Bearpark, Executive Director Operations and Projects. “With our extended franchise we are able to get back to doing what we do best, offering new journey opportunities whilst still delivering the same high standards of service to our customers.

The support we have received locally has been overwhelming. We couldn’t be more pleased and we are really looking forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure the new services are a success.”

The Blackpool Gazette has quoted, Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport to say that he was delighted by the news.

“I’ve been lobbying Virgin, as well as Network Rail and the ORR for a while now about the importance of a direct train line between London and Blackpool, as I feel it will have a huge impact on the town’s economy. I’m glad that they’ve listened and agreed to put on this direct route.

“This a huge boost to the town and will help to put the town on the map to millions of people who live in London, as well as making commuting between here and the capital a much more feasible proposition to many.”

Blackpool to London train service



The Rocky Gardens at the Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool

The Cliffs hotel Blackpool city This Christmas, the kids club at the Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool will reveal a new look after benefiting from a £20,000 investment to bring it up to date with the wants and needs of the 21st century child.

Officially to be unveiled on Christmas Eve, the new activities area will be named ‘Rocky Gardens’ after the hotel’s mascot Rocky the Rooster and will cater for children up to 14 years of age.

The new zone includes a dedicated soft-play space for babies, an arts and crafts section, all the latest video games and an opportunity to take part in a full activities programme.

Older children will now be able to take part in thrilling Nerf Gun Wars, challenge each other on interactive games on a state of the art X Box Kinnect and play on traditional arcade games that are synonymous with the resort.

Tom Nelder, trainee manager at The Cliffs hotel said: “We really wanted the new kids club to be as much fun as possible.

“The majority of the guests who visit us at The Cliffs hotel are families and we are committed to making continuous improvements to suit modern tastes and demands.”

To create Rocky Gardens The Cliffs hotel canvassed young visitors to ensure it captured their imagination and catered for everyone’s needs from babies to teens.

“The new kids’ club offers everyone a place to have fun, be creative and interact in a bright and safe environment.

Choice Hotels is an independent family owned business which had humble beginnings when it opened its first guest house almost 70 years ago.

With five hotels, three in Blackpool and two in the Lake District, its management team now boasts more than 360 years’ experience in the industry.

Tom added: “The staff at Choice have all worked really hard and as a result we’re able to launch Rocky Gardens a month before we’d planned to.

“We are very proud to have transformed the former kids’ club into a more modern and interactive play area and we hope that it brings hours of fun to all the children who spend time at The Cliffs Hotel.”


The Cliffs Hotel in Blackpool