HomeFranchise NewsGrand Central makes bid for new services

Grand Central makes bid for new services

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Open access operator Grand Central has started the consultation process to operate more services per day.

If approved, Grand Central will operate six return services on its North East route rather than five, and six trains to London and five returning from London on its West Yorkshire route rather than four.

Discussions have begun with other train companies as well as Network Rail and an application to the ORR will follow.

Grand Central said that the additional services are not only an important part of its long-term strategic development but in response to customer demand.

If approved, the services will be operated by the company’s Adelante fleet, which is currently undergoing a refurbishment programme, and will add 1,600 daily seats to or from the capital.

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Grand Central is requesting additional access rights to allow it to operate:

  • One additional Sunderland to London Kings Cross return service with a mid-morning departure from Sunderland and a mid-afternoon departure from Kings Cross;
  • One additional train between Bradford Interchange and London, departing Bradford late afternoon;
  • An early morning service from Wakefield Kirkgate to London arriving into London before 07:30;
  • A 10-carriage late evening service departing London before 22:00. The train would split at Doncaster with one part of the train returning to Wakefield and one part continuing on to York;
  • Calls at Peterborough in the early morning and late evening West Yorkshire route services, as well as two of its North East services.

Grand Central managing director Richard McClean said: “As well as bringing additional benefits to our customers, we see these additional services as continuing the economic growth we have supported in communities along our routes by enabling social mobility and enabling communities to thrive.

“The proposed services are essential to encouraging competition in the rail market and to connecting communities and businesses. By offering low fares and benefits which are valued by our customers such as free wi-fi and plenty of legroom, we aim to make train travel an attractive and affordable option.

“We’re pleased to present these growth proposals and we hope the ORR and the wider rail industry share our vision for sustainable investment in the long term.”

Grand Central, which is part of the Arriva Group, celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017.

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