Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - B

Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - B

Grand Central Proposed Services

Grand Central London King's Cross to Cleethorpes

In December 2017, Grand Central announced plans to bid for a service from London King's Cross to Cleethorpes in early 2018 for a date in 2020. It would involve the existing Bradford Interchange service extended to ten coaches from London to Doncaster then dividing with five coaches going to Cleethorpes via Scunthorpe, Barnetby, Habrough and Grimsby.

The other five coaches would be the existing service to Bradford Interchange. This proposal would require permission for a split of trains as it has not been used on the East Coast Main Line before. In February 2018, Grand Central announced plans for an additional call at Crowle.

The company planned to operate four trains per day from 2020. However, in July 2018, the Office of Rail and Road announced new access charges which would affect the business case for the new service, leading to Grand Central announcing that it would delay bidding until 2019.

Grand Central Extra Bradford and Sunderland Services

In March 2018, Grand Central announced that it had applied for six services from London to Sunderland, up from five now, and six services from London to Bradford Interchange, up from four now, which would use Adelante trains.

Grand Central York to London King's Cross

In May 2018, Grand Central announced plans to add an additional evening service before 22:00 between York and London. This service would be ten carriages long.

Grand Central Wakefield Kirkgate to London King's Cross

Grand Central applied for an additional early morning service and an evening service from London to Wakefield, it was rejected because it did not meet the economic criteria. However, in May 2018, Grand Central reapplied for the service. This would see one train per day in each direction between London King's Cross and Wakefield.

Grand Central Peterborough

Grand Central also proposed an additional stop at Peterborough but this was rejected. The stops were to be provided by four Sunderland to London King's Cross services. In May 2018, Grand Central reapplied for the service.

Grand Central Formerly Proposed Services

Grand Central also previously expressed interest in operating other services.

Grand Central York to Chester

During February 2005, Grand Central lodged an application with the Office of Rail Regulation to operate a three times a day York to Chester via the Caldervale Line service with Class 158s. This service would have called at Leeds, Wakefield Kirkgate, Brighouse, Rochdale, Manchester Victoria and Warrington Bank Quay.

Grand Central Bradford Interchange to London Euston

In September 2006, Grand Central announced a proposal to run services from Bradford Interchange via Huddersfield and the West Coast Main Line to London Euston. This service would have called at Halifax, Brighouse, Huddersfield, Stalybridge, Guide Bridge, Stockport, Crewe, Lichfield Trent Valley, Tamworth and Nuneaton.

The proposal was dropped due to Virgin Trains' Moderation of Competition protection preventing any other operators from operating on the West Coast Main Line.

Grand Central Lincoln to London King's Cross

In June 2010, following East Coast deciding not to proceed with plans for a proposed two hourly service between Lincoln and London King's Cross, Grand Central expressed an interest in running services, but was rejected. This service would have called at Newark North Gate and Grantham.

Grand Central Blackpool North to London Euston

In November 2010, Grand Central applied to the Office of Rail Regulation to operate a new service running four times a day in each direction between Blackpool North and London Euston via the West Coast Main Line, calling at Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Preston, Hartford, Tamworth and Nuneaton.

Grand Central sought to run these services from May 2012, using Class 67 locomotives hauling nine Mark 3 carriages and a Driving Van Trailer running at up to 110 mph (177 km/h), until such time as the Blackpool North - Preston line was electrified. In March 2011, the Office of Rail Regulation rejected the application on the basis the service would be primarily abstractive, meaning it would generate most of its revenue by drawing custom away from existing operators rather than bringing new custom to the rail network.

Sister company Great North Western Railway originally re-applied for paths with former London North Eastern Railway InterCity 225 sets to begin a service between Blackpool North and London Euston from September 2019. As these are not able to tilt, their speed is restricted to 110 mph.

In June 2018, the ORR approved the new application for a seven-year track-access agreement for five direct services from Blackpool North to London Euston, calling at Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton and Milton Keynes Central from September 2019. An option for a sixth service in the future was available. The new service would have used the Mark 4 coaches as planned, but with Class 90 rather than Class 91 locomotives.

In June 2019, the proposed services were transferred from GNWR owner Alliance Rail Holdings to Grand Central. The services were due to begin in spring 2020, but were postponed until spring 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in September 2020, Grand Central announced that it had decided not to proceed with the introduction of the service following a collapse in projected patronage.

Grand Central (Train Operating Company) Overview

Grand Central Franchise(s):
Open-access operator
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

Bradford Interchange

Low Moor

Mirfield                                Sunderland
Wakefield Kirkgate            Hartlepool
Pontefract Monkhill          Northallerton
Doncaster                           York

                                             London King's Cross

Grand Central (W) Services Map

Blackpool North
Kirkham and Wesham
Milton Keynes Central
London Euston


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