Grand Central, an open access train operator in the UK and part of the Arriva Group, has begun consultation with other train companies and the infrastructure operator Network Rail to operate more trains per day. The new services would run on its current routes as well as offer new direct journey opportunities for passengers travelling to and from Peterborough.
Following consultation, the application will be submitted to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for consideration.
If approved, the move will bring Grand Central’s current daily North East route operation to six return services (currently five) and its West Yorkshire route would see six trains to London and five returning from London throughout the day (currently four). These additional train services will provide an additional 1,600 daily seats to or from the capital, in response to demand from its customers for more services for their local communities.
These additional services will be operated by Grand Central’s Adelante fleet, which is currently undergoing a significant refurbishment programme.
In January 2018, Grand Central was ranked No. 1 for overall journey satisfaction, and was also rated best value long distance train operator for the sixth year running (National Rail Passenger Survey, Autumn 2017).
The train operator was also the highest rated for customer satisfaction amongst British leisure and commuter travellers, according to research published by consumer champion Which? in January.
Grand Central, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in late 2017, is requesting additional access rights to allow it to operate:
Richard McClean, Managing Director of Grand Central, said:
“The proposed additional services are an important part of Grand Central’s longer term strategic development, building on the strong growth we have seen on our existing routes.
“We believe that expanding our operations will benefit both our existing and potential new passengers, as well as grow existing markets.
“As well as bringing additional benefits to our customers, we see these additional services as continuing the economic growth we have supported in communities along our routes by enabling social mobility and enabling communities to thrive.
“The proposed services are essential to encouraging competition in the rail market and to connecting communities and businesses. By offering low fares and benefits which are valued by our customers such as free WiFi and plenty of legroom, we aim to make train travel an attractive and affordable option.
“We’re pleased to present these growth proposals and we hope the ORR and the wider rail industry share our vision for sustainable investment in the long term.”
Original press release © Grand Central.
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