Grand Central receives 95% satisfaction in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey

Grand Central Railway has again been revealed as Britain's 'highest-rated long distance train operator for customer satisfaction.

Figures released by Passenger Focus reveal that 95% of our passengers were satisfied, or very satisfied, with Grand Central services in the Autumn 2013 National Rail Passenger Survey, a 2% increase from the 93% score received in Spring 2013. 

Passengers cited fast journey times, the friendly attitude and helpfulness of Grand Central’s highly-trained on-board staff, free access to Wi-Fi and the extra legroom available as standard on trains among the reasons for high levels of satisfaction.

Richard McClean, Managing Director at Grand Central Railway said:

"We're delighted that customers are satisfied with Grand Central’s services and particularly thrilled with the impressive 98% satisfaction on our West Riding route. Following previous passenger feedback, a fourth daily service between Bradford and London was added in December 2013 and we hope that this additional service on the West Riding route will help us to continue to develop these fantastic results.”

“We are also pleased that our passengers recognise Grand Central's excellent value for money, with customers 21% more satisfied with Grand Central’s prices then other long distance train operators. Grand Central makes good-value direct travel to London a possibility, particularly as we run much needed services for communities without another direct link to London.”

“Our committed staff and volunteer Station Ambassadors work hard to deliver excellent customer service and we're very proud that our customers are pleased. We always aim to improve the Grand Central experience for passengers and we know there are specific areas where we can do better. In 2014 we're investing in stations and in our fleet of trains to further improve our service and we look forward to continuing to operate at the heart of the communities we serve."

Grand Central was compared positively to other long distance train operators including CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains, First TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains in terms of overall satisfaction.

Grand Central is an open-access passenger train operator. It is part of the Arriva group which provides transport services including buses, trains, commuter coaches and waterbuses.

Ends

Notes for editors

1. Grand Central runs two routes between the North East, York and London and West Yorkshire, Doncaster and London.

2. Grand Central does not run or operate any stations but invests significantly to improve stations we call at;

                 i.      Mirfield Station, West Yorkshire – in 2013 we sponsored a local community mural at Mirfield station to make the unmanned station more welcoming to visitors. This has made a dimly light area more welcoming to people using the train services from the station. In 2014 we are investing to provide customer information screens and to improve signage and wayfinding for trains and rail replacement buses.

                 ii.      Northallerton - in 2013, working with TransPennine Express, we invested £75k towards the expansion of the car park at Northallerton to provide an additional 90 spaces. Work has begun and we hope to see the extended car park in operation during 2014.

                 iii.      Eaglescliffe – Along with partners including Northern and Stockton on Tees Borough Council, in 2013 Grand Central invested £80k to install a manned ticket office, an improved Public Address system and new Customer Information Screens. The car park was also expanded from 30 to 84 spaces.

                 iv.      Wakefield Kirkgate – in 2013 Grand Central invested at Wakefield Kirkgate in order to improve the station building, car parking facilities and to create a Grand Central branded waiting room. There will also be a retail shop, a staffed ticket office, community meeting rooms and office buildings. Partners including Groundworks, Northern Rail, Network Rail and others who have invested £4m in the station and work began on the Grade 2 listed building during August 2013. The work should be finished in August 2014. Grand Central has invested £100k so far with another £60k pledged.

3. Grand Central's Station Ambassadors are unpaid volunteers who work at unmanned stations on Sundays. Station Ambassadors at Hartlepool and Eaglescliffe provide a cheerful welcome to the station and offer help and guidance on Grand Central services. This volunteer service will be extended to Brighouse and Mirfield on the West Yorkshire route during 2014.

4. The full results can be found at passengerfocus.org.uk/train/nps/question/service-overall/

More information about Grand Central Railway can be found at grandcentralrail.com.