After an absence of nearly twenty years, direct trains will be carrying holidaymakers between Glasgow and Blackpool this summer.

First TransPennine Expresss started the new service at weekends through the peak summer season from 2 July until 5 September.

Fares for the through journey to Blackpool will start at just £17 single.

Leo Goodwin, commercial director for First TransPennine Express says: "With UK resorts expecting a busy summer and Blackpool in particular we hope this new direct service and great value fares will prove popular and make the train an even better choice for holiday train journeys."

It is the first time since 1992 and the days of British Rail that trains have linked Glasgow directly with Blackpool making it that little bit easier for some of the ten million visitors attracted to the town each year.

Stewart Stevenson MSP, Minister for Transport at the Scottish Government, said: "With the summer holidays starting shortly, this is fantastic news for people looking to take a break in the UK.  This service will enable travellers to use more sustainable forms of transport while encouraging more visitors to both Blackpool and Scotland alike"

Direct trains will run:

Every Friday from 2nd July to 3rd September:
Leave Glasgow Central at 1254; arrive Blackpool at 1604

Every Saturday from 3rd July to 4th September:
Leave Glasgow Central at 1010; arrive Blackpool at 1311

Every Saturday from 3rd July to 4th September:
 Leave Blackpool at 1315; arrive Glasgow Central at 1642

Every Sunday from 4th July to 5th September:
 Leave Blackpool at 1730; arrive Glasgow Central at 2045


Councillor Maxine Callow, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Regeneration at Blackpool Council, said: "We are delighted that this new direct service has been introduced. We welcome holidaymakers from Scotland at special times every year and hope that this service will encourage them to visit more often during the summer."

Ends

Events in Blackpool in 2010

7 Aug - Nocturne Cycle Race
8 Aug - Blackpool Air Show
27-29 Aug - UDO World Street Dance
31 Aug - Ride the Lights
3-5 Sept - Blackpool Illuminations Switch On Weekend
3 Sept-7 Nov - Blackpool Illuminations


First TransPennine Express - run by First Group plc in partnership with Keolis SA - operates inter-city services on three main routes:

* North TransPennine - including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport, Scarborough to Liverpool and Hull to Manchester Piccadilly.
* South TransPennine from Cleethorpes via Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester Airport
* North West and Scotland - from Windermere, Barrow in Furness and Blackpool North via Preston and Bolton to Manchester Airport; Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Penrith and Oxenholme to Manchester Airport.

 * Destinations served by First TransPennine Express include Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, Malton, Scarborough, Hull, Selby, Leeds, Huddersfield, Cleethorpes, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Doncaster, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Carlisle, Barrow in Furness, Blackpool, Lancaster, Preston, Bolton, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Warrington and Liverpool.

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