Grand Central Signs up 3 additional trains for new 'West Riding' Service
The start of a brand new railway service between the West Riding of Yorkshire and London moved a step closer today after Angel Trains signed a lease with Grand Central Railway for the three additional trains needed to operate the timetable.
With the last of the three additional 125mph Class 180 high speed trains due to join Grand Central’s existing fleet in early 2010, test running and crew training for the new ‘West Riding’ service is likely to start in the New Year.
It is envisaged that the three return services a day between Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield, Pontefract, Doncaster and London King’s Cross will start in May.
Giles Fearnley, Chairman of Grand Central Railway, said: “I am hugely excited by the signing of today’s lease agreement for these trains, as it removes the largest single obstacle to the start of passenger services.
“It provides us with sufficient certainty to proceed with the numerous other processes required for the planned start up next May. This will include recruitment of additional staff, via Grand Central’s website at www.grandcentralrail.com”
To help operate the service, Grand Central, in partnership with Angel Trains, will also be investing in reliability modifications to the trains as well as improvements to the passenger environment (including installation of at seat power sockets and WiFi).
The Class 180s are owned by rolling stock leasing company Angel Trains.
Mr Fearnley added: “I would also like to put on record my thanks to Angel Trains for the help and support they have given our team. Without these additional trains we would have found it very difficult to start our new service.”
Grand Central is currently organising a series of meetings with key stakeholders and partners to brief them on progress in introducing the new ‘West Riding’ service.
Notes to Editor
- Grand Central currently operates a fleet of three InterCity 125 High Speed Trains and two Class 180 Diesel Multiple Units on its services between London, North Yorkshire and the Durham Coast.
- On Monday of this week Grand Central introduced a fourth daily return service calling at London, York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool and Sunderland.
- In January of this year the Office of Rail Regulation granted Grand Central firm access rights to operate three return services between London King’s Cross and Bradford Interchange. These must be introduced between December 2009 and September 2010.
- The signing of the lease for the three additional trains makes the introduction of this new West Riding service possible.
- The additional units Grand Central is leasing from Angel Trains will be 180101, 180107 & 180114.
- Grand Central is part of the Class 180 User Group; other members include Angel Trains, Hull Trains, Northern Rail, National Express East Coast and Alstom. The Group helps operators to share best practice and continuously improve reliability of the Class 180 fleet.
For further information on Grand Central please contact Rupert Brennan Brown of Rail Positive Relations on 0207 617 7018 (07973 950 923) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org