Plans for new Manchester to London train service unveiled following HS2 scrapping

It's been described as the "common sense solution to increase connectivity".

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 2nd July 2024

New train services between Manchester and London have been proposed following the scrapping of HS2.

The proposals were unveiled by rail operator London Northwestern Railway (LNWR) earlier this month (Monday 1 July), and are designed to ‘improve connectivity’ between the Midlands and the North West, as well as provide more choice for passengers.

Under the proposals, London Northwestern Railway’s existing services between London Euston and Crewe would be extended through to Manchester Victoria, and the current services between Stafford and Crewe would be extended to Manchester Airport.

As well as bringing additional capacity to Manchester, the plans will create new direct links from Rugeley, Lichfield, Tamworth, and Atherstone in the West Midlands, to the city centre and Warrington, from summer 2026.

The services linking Manchester city centre to London would use the LNWR’s brand-new Class 730 electric trains, which will provide a significant increase in capacity – with each 10-car train able to carry more than 1,200 passengers.


LNWR will work with local operators and Network Rail to determine the “best overall solution”.

The proposed plans will also tie-in with planned upgrades to Manchester Victoria station, the TransPennine route upgrade, and other local improvements in the North West.


New train crew and management jobs will also be created in the North West, on top of the the economic benefits that come with the generating of additional revenue and enhancing connectivity between two of the UK’s largest city regions under the proposals.

The proposals follow the Government’s scrapping of the northern leg of HS2 / Credit: National Rail

“This proposal puts passengers at the heart of the railway,” commented Ian McConnell, who is the Managing Director of West Midlands Trains, which operates London Northwestern Railway, as the plans were unveiled this week.

“It’s the common sense solution to increase connectivity between the North West and the West Midlands, following the cancellation of the northern leg of HS2.


“With platform space at Euston at a premium, the best way to provide new journey opportunities to Manchester is simply to extend existing services, rather than trying to squeeze more trains onto the congested West Coast Main Line.”

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LNWR will formally submit its plans to the Office for Rail and Road (ORR) later this year, and if approved, the new services could start from May 2026 once additional train crew have been recruited and trained.

Featured Image – Alex Swanston (via Flickr)