Tickets have today (12 August) gone on sale for LNER’s new service between Middlesbrough and London, which is set to begin in a matter of months.

The direct weekday connection, originally announced by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen earlier this year, will begin on Monday, 13 December.

It will see one of LNER’s new Azuma trains leave Middlesbrough at 07:08 each morning arriving at 10:22, with a return service from London’s Kings Cross at 15:25. Advance Single Tickets will start at £20.60, with First Class from £60.

In order to allow for more services and the longer Azuma trains that currently run on the East Coast Main Line to the capital, a £34million overhaul of the station is taking place, supported by a supported by a £22.5million investment from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

The first phase, a 75-metre extension to platform 2, was completed in June and works will shortly be signed off to commence on major customer service improvements, including opening up the dilapidated undercroft to provide a new entrance. A further phase will see a new platform 3 built to the north of platform 2 to increase train capacity within the station.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I’m delighted people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool now have the option to book direct services from Middlesbrough to our capital for business or pleasure.

“I pledged we’d have an LNER service at Middlesbrough by the end of the year and, thanks to taking decisive and critical action to invest £22.5million to upgrade the station and platform, it is now a reality.

“This connection will prove ever more vital as we take advantage of all of the opportunities our Teesside Freeport, the UK’s biggest, will bring. It will help strengthen ties between the Freeport, our towns and our capital to show businesses all the benefits of being based right here, and help our local companies forge new partnerships. This is all the more important as we continue to recover our regional and national economy following the coronavirus pandemic.

“Of course, this is just one scheme across our entire network, including improvements at many of our other railway stations, to give local people the fast, reliable and smooth transport network that they deserve.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “Our new Azuma services will not only help transform the customer experience for those who travel between Middlesbrough and London but open up new economic opportunities for the town and wider area.   

“The new direct services from December will see journey times of around three hours between London and Middlesbrough, offering more opportunities for business travel, tourists and international visitors wanting to travel to the Tees Valley.”