►►An artist’s impression of a new Hitachi train in GNER livery ◀◀

Direct new services from London King’s Cross to both Cleethorpes and West Yorkshire could be introduced by 2017.

A company backed by Deutsche Bahn is applying to run the services on the East Coast main line with new 140mph trains from Hitachi which is currently building a new train factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Alliance Rail Holdings is prepared to invest £130 million and wants to run:

A two-hourly service to Leeds calling at a new East Leeds Parkway station

Six trains a day continuing to Bradford and one to Ilkley, all calling at Kirkstall Forge, a new commercial and residential development

Up to four trains a day to Cleethorpes via Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Grimsby, restoring direct links between Humberside towns and London

It says its proposals would create more than 160 new jobs, and have wider economic benefits across the towns and cities served.

Alliance Rail would use the GNER brand which is owned by Arriva, which itself is owned by Deutsche Bahn.

Ian Yeowart, managing director of Alliance Rail, said: “This proposal is an important opportunity to further strengthen and grow the UK’s rail network.

“It will bring significant private investment to the industry; improve transport for passengers by delivering direct inter-city rail services to many new areas, and support government aims to generate wider economic benefits and future opportunities in the North of England.”

Alliance has also made an application to operate services on the West Coast Main Line through its company GNWR. A decision on this application is expected imminently from the Office for Rail Regulation.

Earlier this month GNER applied to operate services on the East Coast main line between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, calling at Newcastle, and using Pendolino tilting trains.

All these services would be “open access” – in addition to those specified by the Government in a franchise.

The Government is currently trying to privatise franchise services on the East Coast main line (run by Directly Operated Railways) in spite of a campaign to keep them under public control.