All aboard the William Shakespeare train

Special edition Grand Central train celebrates York's Shakespearean summer

William Shakespeare Train 2

People travelling by train this summer may well have caught a glimpse of Grand Central’s William Shakespeare train – in celebration of the company’s title sponsorship of Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean Theatre.

Grand Central named one of its newly refurbished Adelante trains after the Bard, one of the world’s greatest playwrights, in support of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.

The William Shakespeare train was travelling along the North East route this week and passed through York station, the home of the pop-up theatre event, which is staged in the city and runs until 2nd September.

Members of the public can travel to York on Grand Central’s North East route to see amazing performances of Shakespeare’s most famous plays including Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Richard III and a Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Liam Smallwood, Marketing & PR Assistant at Grand Central, said: “It’s great to welcome people on board the William Shakespeare train during this exciting Shakespearean summer.

“We’re very happy to sponsor such an iconic event for the City of York, which highlights the city’s cultural uniqueness and attraction to visitors nationwide. It’s our aim to make culture more accessible to everyone and encourage people to visit key attractions such as this fantastic pop-up theatre and we hope many more people will experience the event for themselves this summer.”

The William Shakespeare train is one of Grand Central’s newly refurbished trains which offers greater comfort, enhanced on-board facilities and smarter surroundings – part of Grand Central’s £9million refurbishment programme which will continue throughout 2018.

Inspired by the famous London Rose Playhouse built in 1587, Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre which opened in June, is situated beside the iconic York landmark of Clifford’s Tower and combines state-of-the-art scaffolding technology, corrugated iron and timber with the historic 13-sided design of a 16th century Shakespearean theatre. It sits within a free-to-enter Elizabethan village showcasing the best of Yorkshire’s food and drink, with free wagon performances and other forms of Elizabethan entertainment, housing an audience of 950 people.

James Cundall, chief executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, said: “William Shakespeare never knew trains in his day but if he did I am sure he would have been delighted that Grand Central has honoured him by naming one of its trains after him.

“Over 60,000 have already enjoyed our incredible summer of Shakespeare in York and I am sure many of them have used Grand Central to visit us in style. We are delighted to have the North East’s premium train provider as a sponsor of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre.”

To find out more about Grand Central, please visit or follow the railway company on Twitter @GC_Rail, Facebook or LinkedIn.

To find out more about Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre and to book tickets, visit or via Twitter: @ShakespearesRT

Notes to editors:

About Grand Central Rail

Grand Central Railway Company Limited is an established train operator which provides direct rail connections from towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East England with London.

Established in 2007, Grand Central celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017. Customer satisfaction levels are consistently high and the rail company has just been named Britain’s best value rail operator for the 6th year in a row.

Grand Central operates West Riding Services between Bradford Interchange, Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill, Doncaster and London King’s Cross. The rail operator also operates North East services between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London King’s Cross.

Grand Central is part of the Arriva group, one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe. Arriva employs more than 60,000 people and delivers over 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year.

For further information, please contact:
Sarah Banks/Anna Hodgson
PR Account Director
0191 261 4250

About Lunchbox Theatrical Productions:

SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE and Shakespeare’s Village are created and managed by Yorkshire-based Lunchbox Theatrical Productions.

Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, founded in 1992 by James Cundall, has established an unrivalled reputation for producing top quality international entertainment in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, The Philippines, Europe and South Africa.

Producing West End and Broadway musicals, plays, boutique shows, spectaculars, concerts, children’s shows, ice shows and events across five continents, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions sells over one million visitor experiences per year.

For further information on Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, please contact:
0161 259 0662
07287 411 820