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2006-03-23 GCR-001
Grand Central


Grand Central Railway Company

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Office of Rail Regulation
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Grand Central

Grand Central Railway Company

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2006-03-23 ORR announces decision on additional services between London and Yorkshire and the North East (Office of Rail Regulation)


23 March 2006
source Grand Central
type Press release

Grand Central welcomes final approval for launch of new high speed rail services from Sunderland/Hartlepool to London

Grand Central Railway Company Ltd. (Grand Central) is a York-based company, which has developed plans to launch new high quality train services from Sunderland/Hartlepool and from Bradford/Halifax to London. These new services will be operated on a fully commercial basis, without any Government subsidy.

The Board of Grand Central welcomes the announcement today from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR), confirming its approval for Grand Central to begin operation of high speed passenger train services from Sunderland and Hartlepool to London. This confirms the ORR’s provisional decision, announced on 27 January.

Final approval of Grand Central’s application for the Track Access Agreement necessary to launch its services follows a full day’s regulatory hearing at the ORR on 6 March to consider this and two related applications from GNER and Hull Trains.

Grand Central will now begin the detailed process of preparing for the launch of its services, including the procurement of rolling stock and the recruitment of drivers and other essential personnel. Details will also be announced shortly of the company’s management and shareholding structure.

Ian Yeowart, Grand Central Managing Director, comments:

“We are obviously delighted at confirmation of the provisional decision. As has been clearly proved, and identified by the ORR, the overall business and economic case for the North East was compelling, and we are grateful to all those who have contributed to this successful outcome.

“We are pleased that the ORR has stood firm in the face of fierce, unjustified and ill informed criticism, and has rightly approved new services which strike the correct balance of the ORR’s statutory duties.

“It is now time to move on, work with the industry to identify the additional paths required, and look at ways of delivering the Bradford, Halifax and West Yorkshire services that cannot be accommodated at the moment.”

23 March 2006


Grand Central Railway Company Tel: 01904 633307
Ian Yeowart, Managing Director Email:

College Hill Tel: 020 7457 2020
Gareth David Email:


Grand Central’s proposed services would add a total of 208 route miles to the ECML and bring direct London services to a population of more than 1.5 million people who currently have only one, or no, direct rail services to the capital.

Halifax MP Linda Riordan secured signatures from a total of 64 MPs on an Early Day Motion in support of Grand Central and the service proposals also secured backing from a wide range of stakeholders throughout West Yorkshire and the North East.

More than 5,000 people have signed petitions in support of the services organised by the Halifax Courier and Sunderland Echo newspapers. Details of the press campaigns in support of Grand Central can be found at: and

Grand Central will operate new, five-coach, Class 222 trains, capable of 125 mph operation. Key elements of the Grand Central services will be an easy to understand fares structure, with 50% refunds to any passenger unable to find a seat, and buffet/restaurant car facilities on all trains.

[Grand Central Network Map]

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Railhub Archive ::: 2006-03-23 GCR-001


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