Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 09:20 UK

West Yorkshire towns' London rail links restored

Grand Central Class 180 train at London King’s Cross.
The York-based firm also runs four daily East Coast main line services

Rail links between London and three West Yorkshire towns will reopen at the weekend for the first time in decades.

Grand Central's new West Riding service between Bradford and London King's Cross will call at Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield Kirkgate and Pontefract.

Pontefract last had direct trains to London in 1863, Brighouse in 1969 and Halifax and Wakefield Kirkgate in 1978.

Passengers in Wakefield have been able to get to London via the city's Westgate station.

Grand Central said it had recruited 30 new staff to run the service and most of them lived locally.

The new trains will run three times a day, with the journey from Halifax to London taking two hours and 58 minutes.

Ian Cooper, cabinet member for safer and stronger communities at Calderdale Council, said: "This is fantastic news for Halifax and the surrounding area.

"The communities we serve have waited a long time for a direct link to the capital. We hope it will bring investment and visitors into the borough, as well as taking pressure off the road network."

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