May 22, 2024

Loke report – Great Britain: Alstom wants to renew direct link between London and Wrexham

Wrexham Public Rail Station 1 (Credit L Pollock)
Photos by Alstom.

After Avanti West Coast in February announcedAlstom has now announced plans to use direct trains on the route in conjunction with SLC Rail from 2025, with a direct link between Shropshire and London set to cease in June 2024. This is the first time Alstom has operated its own passenger train services in Great Britain.

Walsall Railway Station (credit Nigel Thomson)Wrexham Public Railway Station 2

The non-government (open access) operation will once again offer direct rail links between Wrexham, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton and London Euston from next year under the name “Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway” (WSMR). Led by train manufacturer Alstom, WSMR will offer passengers new direct connections, faster journeys and “more competitive fares”. A formal application has now been submitted to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

If the application is approved by the ORR, WSMR, as an open access service, cannot receive any subsidy from taxpayers' money and must bear the entire revenue risk.

WSMR route map

“We have been part of Britain's rail network for two centuries and look forward to entering this new era as an open access operator,” said Nick Crossfield, Managing Director UK and Ireland at Alstom.

The new operator aims to create around 50 new jobs, mainly in North Wales and the Midlands. Five trains will run in each direction every day from Monday to Saturday and four trains on Sundays.

GK, RL, WKZ, sources Alstom, BBC