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TransPennine Express (TPE) is set to increase services between Edinburgh and Newcastle this month, as well as improving connectivity for communities in East Lothian, the Scottish Borders and Northumberland.
From Sunday 12 December 2021, the train company will begin running five services per day (Monday to Saturday) in both directions, calling at Edinburgh Waverley, Dunbar, Reston (once opened), Berwick-upon-Tweed, Alnmouth, Morpeth, and Newcastle, with one service per day calling at Cramlington.
The new services will be operated by TPE’s modern, five carriage Nova 1 trains featuring spacious interiors, plenty of leg room, free Wi-Fi in both Standard and First Class as well as access to onboard entertainment system, Exstream.
Ahead of the changes, customers are advised to plan and book their travel in advance by visiting the TPE website or National Rail Enquiries.
To mark the occasion, TPE is currently offering 50 per cent off Advance Purchase fares on this route for tickets purchased until 5th January 2022, with travel taking place between 12th December 2021 and 18th April 2022. Those wishing to book should visit: TPExpress.co.uk/fifty or the TPE app (using the promo code FIFTY) where more information and terms and conditions are available.
The train company is also giving customers the chance to win one of ten pairs of First Class train tickets at: TPExpress.co.uk/fifty
Matthew Golton, Managing Director for TransPennine Express commented: “We are thrilled that Transport Scotland and Rail North Partnership have given us approval to run these additional services which will significantly improve connectivity on this route.
“I’m sure these improvements will be very welcome news for communities across East Lothian, the Scottish Borders and Northumberland and I’m looking forward to welcoming people onboard our fantastic Nova 1 trains.
“Services on this route are already looking very popular, and I would encourage those intending to travel to plan their journeys in advance and book ahead.”
Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport said: “Improving access to work, education and leisure opportunities by connecting communities is at the heart of our transport priorities. These additional rail services, particularly at intermediate stations, will also make a real difference in encouraging more people out of their cars and onto trains as we strive towards achieving our Net Zero goals.
“This is a good example of collaborative working by all involved to deliver a great outcome for those on the route. I look forward to the start of services and, at some point in the future, travelling on them myself.”
Cllr Martin Gannon, Chair of the North East Joint Transport Committee, said: “It’s brilliant to see better rail connectivity being introduced by TransPennine Express to communities in Northumberland along the East Coast Main Line. The new trains which will operate five times each weekday will be transformational in connecting people to employment, education and leisure opportunities, which is a key aim of the North East Transport Plan. We have been pushing for this improvement and we’re delighted that it has been made possible by TransPennine Express, the Rail North Partnership and Transport Scotland.
“Bearing in mind that this all began with rail industry proposals to reduce services at some stations in Northumberland – proposals that we strongly resisted - it is an excellent result and one that we hope will be made permanent when circumstances permit.”
Martin Tugwell, chief executive of Transport for the North, said: “Transport for the North remains committed to strengthening rail links between the North East and Scotland and this initiative, which we have been pleased to support through the Rail North Partnership, brings a high-quality service to a growing rail market supporting a number of key communities along a key rail corridor between the two countries. Improving connectivity between the North, Edinburgh and beyond will bring about benefits for our residents and businesses, as part of the wider UK economy.”
Customers can travel with confidence onboard TPE’s services with enhanced cleaning in place to keep everyone safe. Face coverings must be worn on trains and at stations (unless exempt).
For those looking to travel, tickets can be purchased online via our website or using the TPExpress App where people can pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay or PayPal. E-tickets are also available allowing customers to use their phone instead of a paper ticket.
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