London North Eastern Railway

London North Eastern Railway
LNER Logo.svg
91127 and 801109 KGX.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s)InterCity East Coast
24 June 2018 – 2025
Main region(s)
Fleet size
14 InterCity 125 sets

26 InterCity 225 sets

13 Class 800/1 9-car Azuma (11 in service)

10 Class 800/2 5-car Azuma (5 in service)

12 Class 801/1 5-car Azuma (10 in service)

30 Class 801/2 9-car Azuma (3 in service)
Stations called at53
Stations operated12
National Rail abbreviationGR
Parent companywww.lner.co.uk
London North Eastern
Railway routes
Inverness
Aviemore
Kingussie
Pitlochry
Perth
Gleneagles
Stirling
Falkirk Grahamston
Aberdeen
Stonehaven
Montrose
Arbroath
Dundee
Leuchars
Kirkcaldy
Inverkeithing
Glasgow Central Glasgow Subway
Motherwell
Haymarket Edinburgh Trams
Edinburgh Waverley Edinburgh Trams
Dunbar
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Alnmouth
Morpeth
Sunderland Tyne and Wear Metro
Newcastle Tyne and Wear Metro
Durham
Darlington
Northallerton
York
Leeds
Keighley
Bradford
Shipley
Harrogate
Horsforth
Leeds
Wakefield Westgate
Hull
Brough
Selby
Doncaster
Retford
Lincoln
Newark North Gate
Grantham
Peterborough
Stevenage
London King's Cross London Underground
The route map for the May to December 2019 LNER timetable
The five daily Lincoln services, which are an extension of terminating services at Newark Northgate, will go live during the currency of this timetable[1]

London North Eastern Railway[2] (LNER) is a British train operating company owned by the Department for Transport (DfT), unlike most UK train operating companies. LNER operates the InterCity East Coast franchise providing long-distance inter-city services on the East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross to North East England and Scotland. LNER manages 12 stations itself and its trains call at 53 stations in total.

The company is owned by the Department for Transport (DfT). LNER took over the InterCity East Coast franchise in June 2018, after the previous privately owned operator Virgin Trains East Coast returned it to the government following sustained financial difficulties. The DfT intended for the company to provide services until a new public–private partnership could be established in 2020. In July 2019, it was announced that LNER had been given a direct-award to run services beyond 28 June 2020 until 2025, making it the longest franchise since GNER.[3]

History

In November 2017, the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, announced the early termination of the InterCity East Coast franchise in 2020, three years ahead of schedule, following losses on the route by operator Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), who had been due to pay more than £2 billion in franchise premiums to the government over the last four years of its contract.[4][5]

This was brought forward in February 2018 to mid-2018. The Department for Transport (DfT) decided to either negotiate a deal with VTEC to continue to run the franchise on a temporary non-profit basis while a new franchise competition was conducted, or to arrange for VTEC be taken over by the DfT's operator of last resort.[6][7][8] On 16 May 2018 it was announced that the latter had been decided and that LNER would take over from VTEC on 24 June 2018.[9][10] The DfT also announced that LNER would be the long-term brand applied to the InterCity East Coast franchise.[11] As part of the overall strategy for the East Coast franchise, the Secretary of State for Transport stated that Great Northern services could potentially be integrated into the operation when the Thameslink Southern & Great Northern franchise expires in 2021.[12]

LNER is the second time that a government appointed operator of last resort has taken control of the InterCity East Coast franchise; between 2009 and 2015 the franchise was operated by East Coast following National Express East Coast defaulting.[13][14]

The company's name echoes that of the London and North Eastern Railway, one of the "Big Four" companies which operated between 1923 and 1948.

Services

LNER has taken over the following services from VTEC:

Leeds & West Yorkshire
Route tph Calling at Peak-time extensions
London King's Cross to Leeds 1 Peterborough, Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate 1tpd to Skipton via Keighley
1tpd to Bradford Forster Square via Shipley
1tpd to Harrogate via Horsforth
1 Stevenage, Grantham, Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate
Lincoln, and Hull & East Yorkshire
Route tph Calling at Peak-time extensions
London King's Cross to Lincoln or York 1 Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham and Newark North Gate
1tp2h extended to Lincoln
1tp2h extended to York calling at Retford and Doncaster
1tpd to Hull
North East & Scotland
Route tph Calling at Peak-time extensions
London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley 1 York, Darlington, Newcastle, Berwick-upon-Tweed 1tpd to Inverness
1tpd to Stirling
4tpd to Aberdeen (3 from London King's Cross, 1 from Leeds)
1 Peterborough, Newark North Gate, Doncaster, York, Northallerton (1tp2h), Darlington, Durham, Newcastle, Alnmouth (1tp2h)
Northallerton and Alnmouth are usually served by alternate trains
1tpd to Glasgow Central
1tpd to Sunderland

An expanded service to Lincoln began on 21 October 2019 when four terminating services at Newark Northgate were extended into Lincoln.[15] This is in addition to the sole one train per day service, which in all, now provides five out and back workings to and from London King's Cross. LNER also plans for December 2019 timetable change that a sixth return service to London from Lincoln will be introduced and 5 extra services on a Saturday will begin from 7 December 2019. [16] From December 2019, LNER will introduce a Harrogate to London service 6 times a day.[17] LNER expects to introduce two-hourly services to Bradford and a daily service to Huddersfield in May 2020 when more Azuma trains have been introduced.[18][19] The Middlesbrough service is expected to begin in December 2021 after infrastructure work required to run the service is completed.[20]

Future destinations include a proposed service to Middlesbrough, though the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, told Parliament that it was dependent on the Azuma's being brought into service on the ECML and other schemes in progress that would provide sufficient capacity to enable the service to run.[21] An additional constraint is the lack of a suitably long enough platform at Middlesbrough, which would necessitate a new build at an estimated cost of £20 million.[22]

Named trains

London North Eastern Railway operates a number of named passenger trains:

Name Origin Destination Other details
Flying Scotsman Edinburgh Waverley London King's Cross Service began 1862 in both directions; named by LNER in 1924. Now Edinburgh to London and only stops at Newcastle railway station for a driver/crew swap.
Highland Chieftain London King's Cross Inverness The longest LNER route

There are no power sockets in the First Class coach J.

Northern Lights London King's Cross Aberdeen There are no power sockets in the First Class coach J
West Riding Limited Bradford Forster Square London King's Cross Operates from Bradford to London only.