Huge increase in Yorkshire to London train services after timetable overhaul

A dawn departure from York which allows business travellers to be in London before 7am and the biggest increase in Saturday services since 1990.

They're among the announcements made by Virgin Trains East Coast today in one of the biggest overhauls of services on the East Coast Main Line since it was electrified in 1990.

The new timetable will include 24 new services between Leeds, York and London, meaning that on Saturdays there will now be only six fewer trains than on weekdays.

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From December 17, there will be 151 Saturday services with over 12,000 extra seats - the most on a weekend since the Intercity 225 train fleet was introduced 27 years ago.

One of the additions is a 4.40am early bird departure from York, which will deliver passengers to London in time for 7am meetings and is aimed at business travellers. This will be the earliest service ever into the capital from Yorkshire, and has been introduced to meet demand from passengers wishing to avoid overnight stays ahead of breakfast meetings.

The changes will make the journey from Leeds to London faster by seven minutes on a Saturday, while the 10.05pm Sunday evening train to Doncaster will now continue to York.

Virgin Trains East Coast managing director David Horne said:

"Our new timetable brings new services that we know our customers want as well as thousands of low cost seats. Six days of the week, customers will be able to enjoy the most frequent service we’ve ever seen on the East Coast Main Line and we’re not stopping there. Our £140m investment is about reducing journey times, increasing the frequency of services, and giving customers a great experience on-board with refurbished trains and refreshed on-board catering – for less. We’re confident that these investments will make it easier, cheaper and quicker than many think to travel by train."