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Grand Central welcomes passengers as three-month service suspension ends

Image credit: Jonathon Kirby

LONG distance rail operator Grand Central (GC) will return to service this weekend following a three-month period of hibernation due to the current national lockdown.

The York-based operator will welcome its first passengers on Saturday (March 27) as it relaunches some services on its West Riding and North East routes, linking London Kings Cross to Bradford and Sunderland.

Grand Central has not run passenger trains since it withdrew services on January 9 in line with the wider national lockdown. The company operates under an Open Access business model which means it relies solely on ticket revenue for income.

Managing Director Richard McClean said the return to service would be gradual but added he was determined to see Grand Central ‘back for good’ following 12 months of COVID-related disruption to services.

“This is something positive for our customers following a really tough year,” he said. “Other than a few months of relative normality during the summer the disruption from COVID on society made it financially unviable for us to run services.    

“While it’s going to be so good to see GC trains heading out again on Saturday we have to make our return a measured, gradual and sensible one. This is very much about rebuilding passenger confidence and ramping up services when the time is right.

“That’s why we will again be providing socially distanced seating and we’re reminding passengers they must reserve a seat before travel. And please don’t forget your face covering.

“The Grand Central team has been really busy ensuring our on-board cleaning programme meets the highest standards and our staff can’t wait to see welcome you back on board.”

For more information on Grand Central services, including reservations and seat availability, visit the GC website at www.grandcentralrail.com

ENDS

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 tenth time in the Spring 2020 National Rail Passenger Survey. In 2020 the same survey saw Grand Central rated overall best operator for customer satisfaction

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: 07971 692291  |    E: [email protected]