PLANS for new trains from York to London could be in jeopardy after Network Rail said it believed they could hamper existing services.

The Press reported recently how First Hull Trains also wanted to run trains from Harrogate to London via York, calling at villages including Poppleton, Hammerton and Cattal.

The proposals held out the prospect of travellers getting on a train at their village station and getting off at Kings Cross.

Grand Union has also been intending to run a fourth Grand Central train from Sunderland to London Kings Cross via York, as well as a new service from Bradford to the capital.

But now Network Rail has given its verdict on the proposals, saying it does not believe it can accommodate the trains on the East Coast Mainline.

A spokeswoman said it had been approached by both Grand Union and Hull Trains, each of whom had “aspirations” to run new services along part of the East Coast line to London. “Our timetable teams have worked through the proposals and do not believe it will be possible to accommodate these extra services without having a negative impact upon the existing services on the route. Therefore we have been unable to offer the paths requested.”

She said the final decision on the proposals would lie with the Office of Rail Regulation.

Grand Union said in a statement that Network Rail had indicated it was not in a position to offer any further rights to operate services on the East Coast Main Line, “due to the conflicting nature of the various bids that had been submitted.”

Managing director Ian Yeowart said the company had gone far in assisting the industry to identify further capacity on the line.

He said it was “extremely disappointing” that First Hull Trains should, at the last minute, have sought to take the paths Grand Northern had developed over the past three years for Bradford and West Yorkshire, to use them for the much smaller community of Harrogate.

He said Grand Central’s aspirations to launch an additional service each day from Sunderland had also been put back by the Harrogate bid.

A spokesman for First Hull Trains was unavailable for comment.