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Statement from Grand Central

As you will be aware the current COVID-19 restrictions are being deeply felt across UK society and the economy, and the railway sector is not immune from the impact.

Here at Grand Central we have offered a rail service, under a reduced timetable, in order to keep key-workers moving at a time of crisis. This came with all the costs of running a train service, while bringing in no revenue to our business. This situation is unsustainable and, following several days of discussion with the Department for Transport, Grand Central has decided to suspend all its services, for an initial two months, from the end of service on Friday 3 April.

Customers who have a ticket to travel with Grand Central during that time can claim a full refund from the place they bought their ticket. People who absolutely need to travel can use their Grand Central ticket to travel on other train companies’ services.

We have also paused, until early 2021, the preparations for our new Blackpool to London Euston services, and the launch of our planned extra daily trains on Grand Central’s Sunderland to Kings Cross route.

We will keep in close contact with the three main rail unions, to ensure the best possible outcome for our brilliant team during an initial two-month ‘hibernation’ and we will be making use of the Government’s furlough scheme. A skeleton team will continue working to ensure Grand Central is ready to resume services as a thriving train operator, serving communities across the country, once restrictions ease.

I emphasise that these measures are necessary but temporary. Grand Central enters this new chapter from a strong position. My team and I will do everything we can to get Grand Central back on track once restrictions are lifted.

I want to thank everyone who continues to support us at this time and it heartens us to see we have many friends, in our suppliers, customers, community and business partners and across the political spectrum. We will keep you updated in the coming weeks.

Finally, I want to thank the Grand Central team which has, without exception proved, professional, understanding and supportive throughout this situation.

Grand Central will be back. And we will come back stronger and more resilient. Until then, stay safe.

Richard McClean