TRAIN carriages have provisionally been found for the new East Lancashire to Manchester service, according to a council boss.
The reinstated Todmorden Curve, offering faster trains to the city from Blackburn, Burnley and Accrington, will not be in use from May, when new timetables begin, because of lack of rolling stock.
But town hall bosses in Burnley are confident a train is being earmarked for the route, which should cut travelling times by 40 minutes.
Borough council chief executive Steve Rumbelow (pictured) spoke out after it emerged that Trans-Pennine Express (TPE) trains were being redirected by their owners to Chiltern Railways, serving the Midlands and south-east.
TV reports suggested the decision may have a knock-on effect on the East Lancs to Manchester service, scheduled to begin this December. But Mr Rumbelow said he was not aware of any delays to the service.
He said: “The diesel units will be released in December and one of those units is allocated and funded for the new Burnley-Manchester direct service via the Todmorden Curve.
“We are confident the new Burnley service will not be affected by the reduction in the TPE fleet. ”
Rail officials have confirmed discussions are ongoing with the Department of Transport over releasing a diesel unit for the East Lancashire service.
Blackburn MP Jack Straw, Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle and Hyndburn MP Graham Jones have been lobbying Transport Secretary Stephen Hammond about the service.
Trains would begin at Blackburn and call at Accrington, Rosegrove, Burnley Manchester Road and Todmorden en-route to Manchester.