Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - A
Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - A
Grand Central is an open-access train operating company in the United Kingdom. A subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains, it has operated passenger rail services since December 2007.
The company was founded in April 2000 as 'Grand Central Railway Company'. Following multiple applications for track access rights, it launched its operations on the East Coast Main Line between Sunderland and London King's Cross in December 2007. Services between Bradford Interchange and London King's Cross commenced in May 2010. In November 2011, Grand Central was acquired by Arriva UK Trains.
Grand Central has also put forward various proposals for operating additional services in the future. One such service, from London Euston to Blackpool North via the West Coast Main Line, was scheduled to begin in 2021, but the initiative was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grand Central History
The origins of Grand Central can be traced back to the privatisation of British Rail during the mid-1990s. Several bids were submitted under the Grand Central name by Ian Yeowart and a consortium of ex-British Rail managers to operate Midland Mainline and Regional Railways North East franchises. However, none of the bids it made resulted in a franchise being awarded. In light of this, during March 1998, the company was formally dissolved.
Grand Central COVID-19 Pandemic
From 3 April 2020, Grand Central temporarily suspended all services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A spokesperson for the company said "Grand Central has decided to suspend services and hibernate the company to protect their financial viability during this time of reduced passenger numbers."
As Grand Central is not a franchised train operating company (TOC), it is not subject to the same government financial package as other franchised services. The company resumed operations on 26 July 2020, initially operating a limited service of five return journeys per day, to increase over subsequent months.
Following the second lockdown announced by the UK government, Grand Central announced on 3 November 2020 that it would once again suspend all services from 6 November. After the second lockdown ended, Grand Central resumed service on 3 December 2020 with a limited timetable and a reservation-only policy on all its services. After the third lockdown's announcement, Grand Central announced on 6 January 2021 that it would once again be suspending all services from 9 January to 1 March 2021.
Grand Central Routes and Services
Grand Central Current Services
Grand Central connects Yorkshire and the North East to London with two routes.
Five daily services on the North East to London route run between Sunderland and London King's Cross calling at Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk and York. This route is known as the North Eastern service. Grand Central has in the past given names to two trains on this route.
Contrary to tradition in British named train services, these were individual one-way trips rather than pairs. In the 2008 timetable, the name The Zephyr was given to the early morning (06:41) departure from Sunderland, while the evening (16:50) train from London was called The 21st Century Limited. As of the 2012 timetable, these names are no longer used by the company.
Four daily services which run on the Yorkshire to London route operate between Bradford Interchange and London King's Cross calling at Low Moor, Halifax, Brighouse, Mirfield, Wakefield Kirkgate, and Doncaster. Some services also call at Pontefract Monkhill. This is known as the West Riding (or West Yorkshire) service.
Grand Central North Eastern
York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe, Hartlepool
Five trains per day on Sundays
Grand Central West Riding
Doncaster, Pontefract Monkhill, Wakefield Kirkgate, Mirfield, Brighouse, Halifax, Low Moor
Pontefract Monkhill is served by three trains southbound and two trains northbound on weekdays, four trains southbound and one train northbound on Saturdays, and no trains in either direction on Sundays.
Grand Central (Train Operating Company) OverviewGrand Central Franchise(s):
Not subject to franchising
18 December 2007 – December 2026
Grand Central Main Route(s):
Sunderland - London King's Cross
Bradford Interchange - London King's Cross
Grand Central Fleet Size: 10x Class 180 Adelantes
Grand Central Stations Called At: 15
Grand Central Stations Operated: 0
Grand Central Parent Company: Arriva UK Trains
Grand Central Reporting Mark: GC
Grand Central (E) Services Map
Grand Central (W) Services Map