Rail upgrade boosts services to city

Dec 16, 2008

Five services an hour now depart Milton Keynes Central station to London, more 12-car trains run in peak times and weekend services have been improved.

As a result of other timetable changes, Milton Keynes Central will benefit from:

– An hourly Virgin service to Stoke-on-Trent, Stockport and Manchester Piccadilly with five minutes cut from journey times.

– An hourly Virgin service to Coventry, Birmingham International and Birmingham New Street with journey times reduced by around five minutes.

– An hourly Virgin service to Crewe and Chester from January 26, with some services continuing to Bangor and Holyhead.

– An hourly service to East Croydon and Clapham Junction, beginning on January 26 and also calling at Bletchley and serving the new station at Shepherd’s Bush for Westfield shopping centre.

– A new hourly London Midland Trent Valley local service.

The upgrade has also seen extended platforms at Milton Keynes central to accommodate the Virgin trains, said Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher.

Last month his organisation announced plans to build its new national headquarters on the site of the National Hockey Stadium next to Milton Keynes Central station, bringing hundreds of jobs to the city.

Mr Croucher said: “This has been an extraordinarily complex project to rebuild Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway. Now it is complete passengers and freight operators will reap the benefits.

"Network Rail has made good on decades of under-investment, and will continue to invest in the route in the years ahead as demand continues to grow.”

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