Nantwich may get direct train services to London

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Audlem residents wanting to get to London by rail may soon be able to catch a direct train from Nantwich.

It is understood that Virgin Trains is considering plans to run services between Crewe and London via Shrewsbury.

It could mean the possibility of stops at both Nantwich and Whitchurch thus offering Audlem residents an easy link to the capital.

A Virgin Trains spokesman has indicated they are looking at starting a service from Crewe via Shrewsbury and possibly calling at Whitchurch and Nantwich.

Bosses at Virgin Rail have been looking at getting a direct link through Shropshire ever since the Wrexham to London service was axed in 2011.

Plans to establish a route from Crewe to London, via Shrewsbury were dashed by Network Rail and the Office of Rail Regulation last year when they vetoed the scheme.

But hopes are high that a service can be up and running by May next year and a petition run by the Shropshire Star newspaper to start a new service has already gathered more than 2,500 signatures.

Environment Secretary and North Shropshire MP Owen Paterson has been a long-standing supporter of a direct rail service to the capital through Shrewsbury.

Councillors in Wem have also written to Virgin Trains to ask about the possibility of the train stopping at their local station if a service is started next year.

A major consideration is that station platforms between Crewe and Shrewsbury will be long enough. Virgin Trains has indicated that platforms must accommodate a minimum of five carriages to even be considered as possible stopping points.

London Midland currently run regular daily services between Manchester and Cardiff that stop at Nantwich.

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