Grand Central - the first 365 days!

Grand Central today celebrated its first year providing high speed direct rail services linking London, North Yorkshire, Teesside and the Durham Coast.

Grand Central’s fleet of refurbished High Speed Trains have covered over 400,000 miles in the last year and punctuality figures of over 90% are now being regularly recorded.

Grand Central has also experienced strong and growing demand for its services – with a record 24,000 passengers using the six daily services in the last four weeks (an increase of 50% over the last six months).

A recently commissioned  passenger survey reveals that the key to Grand Central’s popularity with passengers are the comfort of our trains (seating and leg room), the helpfulness of staff (mainly drawn from the Teesside and Durham Coast areas) and value for money of Grand Central tickets, along with their ease of purchase (including the ability to buy tickets on trains).

Tom Clift, Managing Director of Grand Central said “Despite initial difficulties our passengers and the local communities that we serve have stuck with us and been our greatest supporters. This support has enabled us to grow the business so that one year on we can confirm that we have exceeded the projections of our business plan. This continued growth confirms the need for a fourth daily service between Sunderland and London – the case for which we continue to make strongly to the Office of Rail Regulation”.

As a thank you to loyal customers and to build on the strong growth in recent months Grand Central has already announced that it will not be joining the rest of the rail industry by increasing fares in January of 2009. The fares freeze will be reviewed in May 2009.

Grand Central high speed express trains operate between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London.

Notes to editors:

Independent research supplied by Adsearch Ltd based on surveys on board Grand Central services in August & September 2008; 610 respondents.

In terms of how well passengers were satisfied with Grand Central, those who were “very well” or “well” satisfied with various factors were:-

  • 93% with “plenty of leg room”
  • 92% with comfort of seats
  • 85% with cleanliness of trains
  • 82% with helpful staff
  • 81% with the overall experience
  • 75% with value for money

For further information on Grand Central please contact Rupert Brennan Brown on 0207 716 7018 (07973 950 923) or via email at