The new services were approved by Britain’s rail regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in June 2018. These were originally planned to operate under the Great North Western Railway (GNWR) brand, but will now be run by Grand Central, a sister subsidiary of Arriva.

According to the proposed timetable, Grand Central will operate five return services a day between Monday and Saturday, with four return services on Sundays.

Services will call at Poulton-le-Fylde Kirkham & Wesham, Preston and Nuneaton. Most trains will also stop at Milton Keynes Central.

Grand Central says it is in "advanced discussions" about rolling stock and therefore unable to disclose any further details of its fleet plans for the new service at this stage.

Grand Central is planning to begin recruiting staff for the new service in the next few months. Train crew will be based at Blackpool.

Electrification of the 27km Preston - Blackpool North line was completed last year. Virgin Trains currently operates services between Blackpool North and London Euston using class 390 Pendolino tilting EMUs.