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2004-02-02 GCR-001
Grand Central


New service promises more trains & cheaper fares

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Grand Central

New service promises more trains & cheaper fares

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2003-12-18 Passenger groups welcome Grand Central’s new cross-Pennine services (Grand Central)


2 February 2004
source Grand Central
type Press release

Leeds – Manchester from £8.00 return

Leeds – Newcastle from £6.00 return
Substantial reductions in First Class fares for business travellers

Planned service increased to 12 trains per day – six in each direction

High speed trains for Sunderland, Hartlepool and Stockton

Grand Central’s planned new high-quality cross-Pennine train service will offer fares that are substantially cheaper than anything currently offered on existing rail services, with return fares from Leeds to Newcastle starting at £6.00 and from Leeds to Manchester starting at £8.00.

Business travellers will benefit from substantially reduced first class fares, with a first class open return from Leeds to Newcastle costing £39.00, little more than half the current fare of £67.20 and a Leeds-Manchester first class open return costing just £17.00, compared to the current first class return fare of £26.80.

Subject to agreeing its timetable with Network Rail and to final approval by the Rail Regulator, Grand Central aims to begin operations later this year, using a fleet of fully refurbished High Speed Trains, which will offer significantly greater space and comfort than is available on current or proposed Trans-Pennine services

Following feedback received during the Regulator’s recent statutory consultation period, from rail passenger committees, passenger transport executives and other train operators, Grand Central is increasing the proposed frequency of its service from an initial service of eight trains per day to 12 – six in each direction.

These changes would be introduced with effect from December 2004, as a stage two development of the current service pattern, which Grand Central intends to introduce this Summer. At the same time Grand Central proposes to introduce services via Sunderland, Hartlepool and Stockton and is currently developing detailed arrangements to deliver this aspect of the service with Nexus.

A key feature of the Grand Central plan is to provide Inter-City standards of comfort and service to many towns not currently served by high-speed trains. By operating certain trains via the Durham coast line, Grand Central will be providing a high quality service on what is currently a poorly served rail route, opening up significant new journey opportunities and designed, along with the attractive fares package, to attract large numbers of new users to the rail network.

Grand Central has previously announced plans to serve Rochdale, Brighouse and Wakefield Kirkgate through the introduction of its initial service proposals.

The Grand Central proposals have been strongly supported by rail passenger user groups in the North of England and welcomed by the passenger transport executives, such as Nexus, along the line of the route. The Rail Regulator, Tom Winsor, is currently considering Grand Central’s application to commence services, with a final decision expected in the Spring.

Ian Yeowart, Managing Director of Grand Central, comments:

“Attractive fares and a higher quality travelling environment are key elements in the Grand Central service proposition. Plans to increase our service frequency and to run certain trains along the Durham coast route reflect the positive feedback received during the recent period of consultation with the rail industry. From December 2004 we will have a strong service base from which to attract significant numbers of new rail travellers across the north of England”

Mike Parker, Director General of Nexus, adds:

“We welcome the potential for new rail links serving Wearside and the Durham Coast, as these areas are currently remote from the rest of the national network. As Metro operator in the Sunderland area, we are liaising with Grand Central to ensure that our joint aims for improved services are mutually achievable.”


Nexus is the trading name of Tyne & Wear Passenger Transport Executive and administers funds on behalf of the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority.

Railhub Archive ::: 2004-02-02 GCR-001


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