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Grand Central to introduce an additional daily return service on its North East route

Grand Central train at speed

Train operator Grand Central has received approval to operate an additional daily return service from the North East to the capital, bringing its Monday – Saturday services to six in each direction and five on Sundays.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has granted access rights for Grand Central to operate an additional return service between Sunderland and London Kings Cross until at least 2021. Planning for the new services is now underway and the start date will be announced in early 2020. This follows the completion of Grand Central’s £9 million refurbishment programme.

This additional return service will provide additional journey opportunities between the capital, North Yorkshire and the North East, offering new and existing customers with 3,800 extra seats each week.

The new services will be a mid-morning departure at 9:55 from Sunderland and a mid-afternoon departure at 14:27 from London Kings Cross, Monday to Saturday. The additional Sunday service will depart at 10:28 from Sunderland with the return departing London Kings Cross at 15:23.

Richard McClean, Managing Director at Grand Central, said:

We’re delighted to be able to run an extra return daily service on our North East route between Sunderland and London.

These additional services will support continued economic growth along our routes by enabling communities to thrive and providing more opportunities to connect people and places.

New services are essential to providing choice in the rail market and to connecting communities and businesses. We’re pleased that the ORR shares our vision for sustainable investment in the rail industry. By offering low fares and benefits which are valued by our customers, we aim to make train travel an attractive and affordable option.

To find out more about Grand Central, please visit, or follow the railway company on Twitter @GC_Rail, Facebook or LinkedIn.

Download the Grand Central app for a faster and more convenient way to buy train tickets. For more information, visit:


Picture caption: Grand Central Adelante train on the East Coast Mainline

Notes to editors:
Grand Central Railway Company Limited is an established train operator which provides direct rail connections from towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East England with London.

Customer satisfaction levels are consistently high and the rail company was named Britain’s best value rail operator for the seventh time in Autumn 2018 National Rail Passenger Survey.

Grand Central operates West Riding services between Bradford Interchange, Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill, Doncaster and London King’s Cross. The rail operator also operates North East services between Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York and London King’s Cross. Grand Central will start operating services on the North West route between Blackpool, Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton, Milton Keynes and London Euston in 2020.

Grand Central is part of the Arriva group. Arriva is one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe, employing over 53,000 people and delivering 2 billion passenger journeys a year across 14 European countries. We are part of Deutsche Bahn (DB), one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies, and are responsible for DB's regional passenger transport services outside Germany.

For further information, please contact:

Sarah Banks/Sarah Jeffery/Ruth Edmundson
PR Account Director
0191 261 4250
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]