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Last Wrexham-Shropshire-London train departs

image captionBest wishes for the final Wrexham, Shropshire and Marylebone service

The final Wrexham to London train service will leave later after the company that ran the route said it could no longer continue.

Wrexham, Shropshire, Marylebone Railway (WSMR) said on Wednesday it would cease operations, leaving Shrewsbury without a direct service to the capital.

The service, from north Wales to London Marylebone restarted in April 2008 after a gap of 41 years.

Service operators blamed falling passenger numbers.

On the same day the announcement was made, a Passenger Focus survey said the firm had the highest customer satisfaction rating.

WSMR achieved a 96% satisfaction rate.

The last train to depart will be the 1830 from London Marylebone to Wrexham General.

Shropshire Council said it was disappointed to hear the service had been cancelled.

Councillor Mike Owen, cabinet member for economy, said having a direct rail link to London had helped increase the number of visitors to the county from the South East.

'Not subsidised'

"It has also made it easy for people from Shropshire to visit the capital for business or pleasure," he said.

More than 50 jobs are thought to be lost with the closure of the service. Mr Owen said the council would work with Job Centre Plus and the rail company to find new employment for its staff.

However, he said the council was also working with colleagues at Telford and Wrekin Council and with the Department for Transport in the hope it would be possible to reinstate a direct link to London in the near future.

The company previously said it had taken action to try to make a profit, including cutting the original service of five trains a day between Wrexham and London Marylebone, to four in 2009, then to three in December.

Councillor Eric Carter, cabinet member for regeneration at Telford and Wrekin Council said the service had not been helped by not being subsidised, like other services.

"I firmly believe the rail industry has a great future and a direct link from Shropshire to London is important for the county," he said.

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