London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has taken a step forward to see whether it could operate direct services between Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire and London King’s Cross in the future.

(c) LNER

A first test train travelled from Doncaster on 26th June 2023, calling at Grimsby Town, Cleethorpes, Barnetby, and Market Rasen to perform a series of platform and train validations at each respective station.

A specialist team travelling onboard carried out a number of checks and assessments. Any potential new route or extension to an existing route carries a significant level of detailed testing to determine and validate the train’s compatibility to safely operate over the network concerned.

The findings from the tests need to be reviewed to check if there are any issues before a decision about offering the service can be made.

David Horne Managing Director at LNER said: “This is a really positive step to see whether LNER can reinstate its direct services between Cleethorpes and London King’s Cross. It is early stages yet and there is a lot more work to do to see whether these services can come back for the first time in decades, but today we have shown that with willpower and cross-industry collaboration, we might be able to see LNER services connect Cleethorpes to London once again.”

Rail Operations Group, Network Rail and Hitachi Rail have worked with LNER to support the validation process.

Locals MPs are among those who have campaigned for direct services between the destinations. MP for Great Grimsby, Lia Nici, Cleethorpes MP, Martin Vickers and Sir Edward Leigh MP, who represents Gainsborough, welcomed the LNER Azuma test train at their respective stations.


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