Harrogate rail passengers in line for roomier trains as LNER introduces thousands more seats for customers
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Sundays are now one of the most popular days for journeys with 30 per cent more customers travelling across the 956-mile LNER network than in 2019.
But, crucially, LNER is also providing thousands more seats for customers - as eight existing Sunday services will be served by longer trains.
After meeting with David Flesher, Commercial Director at LNER, the former rail minister said the town was benefiting from a series of improvements to its rail services.
Mr Jones said: "This is just part of a bigger picture of improvements.
"When I first became the Member of Parliament in 2010 there were no direct services to London at all.
"Now we have several services every day and this upgrade adds even more capacity.
"Around £10million has been invested improving the line so that we have new, later and faster services.
"Harrogate station itself has seen a £1.2m upgrade with smart ticketing facilities and a proper shelter on the Leeds platform."The rolling stock has been upgraded, too, with the loathed pacer trains replaced by newer Class 170 Turbostars."
LNER says the current five carriage services to London will be replaced with either nine or ten carriage Azuma trains for destinations including Leeds, Harrogate and Lincoln.
Services which will become 10 carriage Azuma services vice 5 carriage:
The 09:05 London King’s Cross to Harrogate*
The 17:05 London King’s Cross to Harrogate*
(* service will no longer call at Horsforth)
The 19.03 London King’s Cross to Leeds
The 13:15 Harrogate to London King’s Cross
Services which will become 9 carriage Azuma services vice 5 carriage:
The 11:03 London King’s Cross to Harrogate
The 19:06 London King’s Cross to Lincoln
The 08:05 Leeds to London King’s Cross
The 15:36 Harrogate to London King’s Cross
Direct LNER services will continue to serve Harrogate on Sundays with the changes seeing ten carriage Azuma trains operating on two of the six daily services between London King’s Cross and Harrogate (09:05 London King’s Cross to Harrogate; 17:05 London King’s Cross to Harrogate).
But the latter two northbound services will no longer be able to call at Horsforth due to the platform length,
The new services and longer trains will start in December 2023.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: "The data shows more customers are travelling with LNER at weekends, with Sundays proving especially popular.
“Our plans will provide more than 3000 extra seats from December, while also improving the connectivity for many of our destinations between London and West Yorkshire on Sundays.”