London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is meeting an increase in demand from leisure travellers by adding more services and thousands more seats on trains between Yorkshire and London every Sunday.
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.
To support the increase in demand, LNER will be introducing three additional Sunday services into its timetable – two between Leeds and London King’s Cross and one between Doncaster and London.
In addition, LNER is also providing thousands more seats for customers – as eight existing Sunday services will be served by longer trains. The current five carriage services will be replaced with either nine or ten carriage Azuma trains for destinations including Leeds, Harrogate and Lincoln.
The new services and longer trains will start in December 2023.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “This is fantastic news for our customers. 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.”
Customers travelling from Wakefield, Doncaster and Peterborough will benefit from the additions to the timetable from December 2023, with further plans to introduce even more seats next year.
Rail Minister, Huw Merriman, said: “This is a real win for passengers and will encourage even more people onto our railways by offering more frequent and comfortable journeys.
“We know travel patterns have changed since the pandemic and we’ve seen leisure travel boom over the weekends. That’s why the Government did what we could to help facilitate these extra services and I’m delighted to see LNER taking this responsive approach.”
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).
These two northbound services will no longer be able to call at Horsforth due to the platform length, however customers can connect using regular Northern Train services, or travel on one of four direct LNER services which will still call at Horsforth on northbound journeys.
Tickets for the additional services are on sale. Bookings can now be made for many journeys up to and including 26 January 2024. Customers are advised to book direct on the LNER App or at lner.co.uk for best value fares.