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Grand Central rail invests in new station ambassadors in Thirsk & Northallerton

Rail passengers in Thirsk and Northallerton will benefit from an enhanced and safer travel experience thanks to the launch of Grand Central Rail’s award-winning Station Ambassador programme in the area.

The programme, which has seen success over the last few years in Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe and Brighouse, is part of Grand Central’s ongoing commitment to investment in the local communities it serves. The Station Ambassador programme at Thirsk and Northallerton is in association with train operator Transpennine Express.

As part of the programme, a selection of community volunteers, selected and trained by Grand Central and Transpennine Express, are on hand at participating stations on Sundays, and occasionally Bank Holidays, when stations are traditionally unstaffed and the majority of rail engineering work occurs. Their role is to assist passengers with enquiries about tickets, connections and local services, ensure travellers board and disembark trains safely and efficiently and provide a friendly welcome to the communities Grand Central serves, making journeys more enjoyable, easy and convenient for passengers.

Among those appointed is Chris Purser from Thirsk. Chris said: “I volunteered to become a Station Ambassador for Grand Central as they are renowned for always putting the customer first with a friendly approach, comfortable trains and affordable fares, and the launch of the Station Ambassador programme in Thirsk is a fantastic way of enhancing their commitment to both the local area and safety to their passengers.

“I am excited to be able to be part of Grand Central’s team to promote my town to visitors and welcome them to the lovely area that I call home. It has been fantastic to get to know the commuters who pass through the station and the reasons why they are visiting Thirsk. I hope I can assist them as much as possible in the near future.”

Richard McClean, Managing Director of Grand Central Rail, said: “The communities along our routes are at the heart of our business and we have therefore ensured that our investment goes beyond just our fleet and right into the communities for the benefit of local passengers.

“Our station ambassador scheme grew out of our desire to have a staff presence on the stations we serve to make rail travel easier and more accessible for local people and visitors to see the area. For the volunteering ambassadors, the programme presents a great way to contribute to the community they live in. We are excited to extend our programme to Thirsk and Northallerton and it is fantastic to see so much support from the community to support their local station and welcome visitors to their town.”

The extension of the programme at Thirsk and Northallerton is part of a series of Ambassador Programmes due to launch across Grand Central’s routes this year.

More than 60 station ambassadors currently work with Grand Central to respond to passenger queries about tickets, connections and local services whilst providing them with a friendly welcome to the towns along Grand Central’s North East and West Riding routes. In addition, they support station management by helping improve operational safety and efficiency at the station.



For more information contact Grayling on 0113 273 9900 or email [email protected] .


Notes to Editors

1. Grand Central Railway Company Limited operates West Riding services between Bradford Interchange, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill, Doncaster and London King’s Cross.

2. Grand Central Railway Company Limited also operates North East services between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London Kings Cross.

3. Grand Central topped the Autumn 2016 National Rail Passenger Survey with a satisfaction score of 91%. Grand Central was also revealed as Britain’s highest-rated long distance operator in the UK in the 2017 Which? Magazine Train Satisfaction Survey with 72% passenger satisfaction score.

4. For further information on Grand Central, and to buy tickets with no booking fee, visit