Today I had a very encouraging phone call with East Coast Trains, the new “open access” company, part of FirstGroup, which will be starting their train service through Morpeth in 2021. They will run 5 trains each way per day between London and Edinburgh calling only at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth. Of course, we had originally planned a face to face meeting at Morpeth station but this was not possible with the COVID-19 restrictions. Apparantly, their first train arrived at Port of Tyne yesterday on its way to Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe for final fit out. We look forward to the service starting next year. SENRUG very much lobbied for this at a time when Morpeth was poorly served by long-distance services.