The firm hoping to launch new direct train services between Blackpool and London admits its plans are being delayed by Government red tape.
Alliance Rail wants to run as many as six direct services a day and has secured the rights to operate on the West Coast Mainline.
But it now has to wait for approval for its proposed fleet of Pendolino trains.
The exact same carriages currently operate between London and Glasgow but they are no longer in production – so the certification process has to start from scratch.
Boss Ian Yeowart admits it’s a ‘frustrating’ situation but still hopes the link will go ahead as planned.
He said: “We want to use Pendolino trains, they are the only tilting trains built for the UK. Regulations have changed since the trains were first introduced.
“There will be things we have to get dispensation for and it all takes time.”
He admitted the company has been ‘quiet’ since its bid to run the service was approved in August 2015, saying: “It’s slow progress.
“We have great support from Alstom which build the trains and from the Department for Transport so hopefully we will get movement.”
Virgin Trains introduced the Pendolino to the UK in 2001 and the trains are the backbone of its London to Glasgow operation.
Mr Yeowart said: “The Pendolino is what we want to use because it gives us 125mph running.”
He said there are ‘good’ alternatives – such as the Hitachi trains being delivered for the East coast and Great Western – but journey times would be slightly longer.
“We bid for 125mph and we don’t want to go back on that,” he added.
The wait for the line to be electrified, not due for completion until May 2018, gives Alliance time to sort matters.
“Then we can come in and hit the ground running,” he said.