The launch of direct Middlesbrough to London services by LNER and the opening of Soham station were among the highlights of the December timetable change. Schedules across the network changed on Sunday 12 December, although some changes did not take effect until Monday 13 December, the first weekday of the new timetable.
LNER heralded the restoration of direct services from Middlesbrough for the first time in 30 years. The daily out-and-back working leaves Middlesbrough at 07.08, calling at Thornaby and York, with a return at 15.25. The traction is a five-car bi-mode Azuma, although only the last 19 miles of the 239-mile journey from London are run under diesel power.