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2003-12-18 GCR-001
Grand Central


Passenger groups welcome Grand Central’s new cross-Pennine services

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Grand Central

Passenger groups welcome Grand Central’s new cross-Pennine services

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2003-10-15 In summary (Grand Central)


18 December 2003
source Grand Central
type Press release

Grand Central announces half price travel for all passengers aged 60 or over.

Grand Central promises a range of exciting benefits to passengers:

Grand Central’s plans for the introduction of a new high-quality cross-Pennine train service next year have been warmly welcomed by rail passenger user groups throughout the North of England.

In their responses to Grand Central’s formal application for the track access required to operate its new service, the two Rail Passengers Committees (“RPC”) for North Western England and North Eastern England have lent their strong support to the new service.

“Grand Central’s proposal appears both attractive and appropriate”, writes Robin Sisson, Deputy Secretary of the North Western RPC. “The IC 125 rolling stock, proper buffet facilities and superior First Class provision (for which there is proven demand) would be welcomed.”

“The Grand Central proposal has something of the Hull Trains magic about it”, adds Mr Sisson. “It is a genuine addition to service; it is innovatory; it requires no public subsidy…Grand Central would alleviate the overcrowding which, at peak times, looks certain to bedevil TPE’s Desiro operation…Passengers would have more choice.”

Ernie Preston, Secretary of the North Eastern RPC is equally enthusiastic about Grand Central’s proposals: “…the Committee fully supports Grand Central’s application for a track access contract as it believes that Grand Central proposal will, if implemented, deliver many passenger benefits”, he states.

Among features of the new service particularly welcomed by the North Eastern RPC are its serving of Manchester Victoria station, rather than Piccadilly, the ambition to base the operation at the currently run-down Wakefield Kirkgate station, the park and ride potential from services stopping at Brighouse and the superiority of Grand Central’s rolling stock – refurbished High Speed Trains – over what is currently available and what will be provided by the new franchisee.

“The Committee does not see Grand Central as competing with existing services on the lines that comprise the proposed route”, writes Mr Preston. “What is proposed is a completely different type of service. It will provide new through journey opportunities, journeys which presently entail a change of train, and increase passenger choice.”

Half price travel for the over 60s

As a further benefit for passengers and as an added incentive to travellers not currently attracted to rail services, Grand Central plans to offer half price discounted fares to passengers aged 60 or over.

In a move that seeks to eliminate existing financial barriers to travel for large numbers of senior rail passengers, Grand Central will be seeking simple evidence, such as an accompanying Driving Licence or Pension Book to offer further reduced fares on its cross-Pennine route. This development will avoid the need for Grand Central passengers to purchase a Senior Railcard in order to qualify for this level of saving.

Ian Yeowart, Managing Director of Grand Central, comments:

“I am delighted that the Rail Passenger Committees in the North West and North East share our belief that this new service will bring a host of benefits to cross-Pennine travellers. What we are proposing represents a step change in the standard of service offered to passengers, with new journey opportunities, more space in standard class, greater first class accommodation and significantly better catering provision than is offered currently or will be offered in the foreseeable future.

“Grand Central is in the business of attracting more passengers to the rail network across the North of England and providing them with a quality of service that sets new standards. We believe that our half price offer to the over 60s will attract travellers who might otherwise have been prevented from travelling by the need to purchase a Senior Railcard to enjoy such discounts on other services.”


1. The Rail Passengers Committee, established under the 1993 Railways Act (as amended by the Transport Act 2000), is the statutory consumer organisation representing the interests of rail users on Britain’s privatised rail network. The Committee has the legal right to make recommendations for changes and can ask the Regulator or the Strategic Rail Authority to exercise their powers in certain circumstances.

o To read the full text of the letters submitted by the Rail Passenger Committees to the Office of the Rail Regulator click »

[NW Rail Pass Comm Office Rail Regulator pdf]
[NE Rail Pass Comm Office Rail Regulator pdf]

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-12-18 GCR-001


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