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Extra passenger services announced as Grand Central readies for weekend relaunch

Grand Central is to add more passenger services on its two routes as the train company prepares for relaunch on Sunday (Jul 26)

Grand Central staff give a thumbs-up to the service's return

An earlier version of this press release described the additional service on the North East route as begining on August 23 - this service is being added on August 24, with additional information on Sunday services (such as August 23) pending.

The Yorkshire-based train operator will welcome back passengers this weekend after almost four months of self-imposed hibernation during the height of the lockdown restrictions. Today Grand Central announced it had opened bookings on an extra return service per day on its North East route from August 24, and a further daily return service on its West Riding route from September 13.

Before lockdown the company was operating 18 daily services between the north and London (16 on Sundays) every day and welcoming nearly 30,000 passengers per week.

Managing director Richard McClean said: “Since we announced Grand Central was returning to service on July 26 we’ve been overwhelmed by the messages of support and encouraged by the number of passengers who’ve already booked journeys with us.

“We always planned this to be a measured and sensible return to service; we know rail travel has changed a lot since we last welcomed passengers on board in April, but the demand is slowly returning . Adding these extra services also means we’re bringing much-needed extra capacity to the rail network, which helps maintain social distancing on board.”

Grand Central this week carried out extensive trial runs and put additional cleaning in place for trains on its two routes between Bradford and Kings Cross, and Sunderland and Kings Cross, ahead of the Sunday re-launch.

Mr McClean added: “The Government announced last week that public transport could be used safely with immediate effect. Our objective now is to reassure passengers and build public confidence in rail travel. We’ve increased our on-board cleaning measures and we will be helping customers to maintain their distance on the train with signage and new seat labelling.”

Operating under an Open Access business model, Grand Central relies on ticket sales. The company took the decision to pause services to reduce outgoings and protect jobs, until lockdown restrictions eased.

The announcement of additional services comes after Grand Central was rated the country’s favourite train operator in the spring National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS).

For information on Grand Central and its timetable go to


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.

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 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.


Richard Catton  I  PR & Partnerships Executive  I  Grand Central

M: 07866 173 964  |    E: [email protected]