Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - Grand Central Rolling Stock - G

Grand Central (Train Operating Company) - G

Grand Central Rolling Stock

Grand Central's application to the ORR in February 2005 had proposed using Class 67 locomotives hauling five Mark 3 carriages and a Driving Van Trailer. As the paths were only granted on the basis of 125 mph stock being used, other stock had to be sourced. It was then proposed to use a fleet of Bombardier Transportation five-carriage Class 222s, similar to those already in use with Midland Mainline and Hull Trains.

Difficulty in securing these led to Grand Central deciding to use High Speed Trains.

In October 2006, sister company Sovereign Trains purchased six Class 43 power cars and 18 Mark 3 carriages from Porterbrook. The Class 43s, that all had buffers fitted when they were modified in the late 1980s for use with Class 91 locomotives during the electrification of the East Coast Main Line, were sent for overhaul at Devonport Management Limited, Plymouth.

The Mark 3s were overhauled at Marcroft Engineering, Stoke-on-Trent. Eighteen of the Mark 3s were former Virgin Trains West Coast loco-hauled carriages that required rewiring in order to work with the power cars due to different electrical requirements.

Due to delays encountered during the overhauls, Grand Central investigated leasing spare InterCity 125s from Midland Mainline. However, nothing came of this and it was not until December 2007 that enough stock had been delivered for operations to commence. The full fleet was in service by March 2008.

Problems encountered with the rolling stock, including all six of the power cars being out of traffic at the same time, saw Grand Central hire Class 67 locomotives from the freight haulage company English Welsh & Scottish (EWS), Class 47s from Riviera Trains, and Class 57s from Virgin Trains to haul Riviera Trains' Mark 2 carriages on shuttles from Sunderland to York in summer 2008 as well as InterCity power cars from Midland Mainline.

In March 2010, the InterCity 125s were sold to Angel Trains which funded an overhaul including repowering the Class 43s at Brush Traction with MTU 16V4000R41 engines.

To operate the fourth Sunderland service, a pair of Class 180s were leased from Angel Trains in 2009, followed by another three to operate the Bradford services in 2010. Before entering service, 180112 was named James Herriot in July 2009.

The remaining two units, 180105 and 180114, entered service later in 2009. Grand Central secured two further Class 180s, 180101 and 180107, bringing the total number to five. The Class 180 fleet operate both Sunderland and Bradford services, with the InterCity 125 trains usually only operating services to Sunderland, although they have operated to Bradford on occasions.

Grand Central withdrew its HST fleet at the end of 2017, with a transfer to East Midlands Trains for the three six-car sets. The company received five additional Class 180 Adelante sets from Great Western Railway (GWR), made available due to the rollout of the Intercity Express Programme.

Initially, Grand Central adopted an all black livery with doors painted gold (first class) and silver (standard class). When the Class 180s were introduced, an orange band was introduced.

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 Route

Bradford Interchange

Low Moor

Mirfield                                Sunderland
Wakefield Kirkgate            Hartlepool
Pontefract Monkhill          Northallerton
Doncaster                           York

                                             London King's Cross

Grand Central (W) Services Route

Blackpool North
Kirkham and Wesham
Milton Keynes Central
London Euston


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