A new direct train service linking Stirling and Falkirk with London has been launched.

Transport Minister Derek Mackay was joined by Council leader Johanna Boyd, senior business and tourism leaders to see the first Virgin Trains service set off from Stirling train station on its inaugural departure at 5:26am.

The weekday service will cut rail journey times to the UK capital by 46 minutes and ensure passengers don’t have to change trains, with a new direct return service departing King’s Cross at 3pm.

Mr Mackay said: “I am pleased to launch this service from Stirling to London and I am confident that it will be a major draw for tourists, students, business and residents and deliver significant economic benefits to Stirling and the wider locality.

“It will bring further attention to Stirling’s diverse and growing business base, its splendid University and business Innovation Park, its impressive cultural and sporting facilities and its historical attractions.”

One of the passengers onboard the first service who expects to be a regular passenger in the months ahead is John McNally, MP for Falkirk.

He said: “I usually get the train down to London on Sunday to get to Westminster. Having the early morning direct departure from Falkirk means travel to London on the Monday will be a much simpler option,” he said.

“Being able to work onboard means I can get ready for the week in London on the way there. It’s also really positive to see Scotland supported by strong rail links to England.”

Source: Central FM

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