Grand Central Seeks Rail Contract Extension

Consultation launched to seek views on rail contract extension

Grand Central has outlined proposals for new investments to deliver further improvements to services as it seeks to extend its open access rail contract.  This week marks the launch of a public consultation on Grand Central’s application to obtain the right to run trains until 2026.

As an open-access train operator, Grand Central operates under a Track Access Contract approved by the Office of Rail Regulation.   The 28 day consultation will seek views on the extension of Grand Central’s current Track Access Contract, to run until 2026.

Richard McClean, Managing Director of Grand Central said;

“Over the next few years, we plan to make very significant investments in our train fleet and supporting stations and infrastructure. We are applying to extend our current Track Access Contract for ten years as we want the opportunity to grow and improve our service for Grand Central’s passengers and communities.”

The proposed investments include:

  • Significant investment in the rolling stock to improve reliability, including the option to move to a uniform fleet of Class 180 trains
  • Subject to final agreement with stakeholders and Network Rail, re-instating the disused platform at Hartlepool to allow greater flexibility and capacity
  • In addition, Grand Central intends to invest in other areas at other stations, notably car parking and improved passenger facilities.

Network Rail will run this consultation on Grand Central's behalf, giving other train operating companies, passenger transport executives and groups such as Passenger Focus the opportunity to comment.  The details are available online at  

Grand Central hopes to have a final decision from the Office of Rail Regulation by the end of 2013. Our current arrangements give us permission to operate until 2016.

Grand Central provides an easy and direct train service from the North East and Yorkshire to London King’s Cross. Offering passengers the best possible customer service, as well as comfortable seats, free Wi-Fi and extra luggage space, Grand Central goes that extra mile and aims to recreate the best of the railway tradition of quality and attention to detail.


Notes for editors

  1. The consultation was launched on Monday 5 August 2013 and will run for 28 days. The closing date for responses is 17.00 on 2 September 2013.
  2. To buy train tickets visit or call 0844 811 0071.