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2006-06-08 GCR-001
Grand Central/Fraser Eagle Group

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Grand Central targets early-December start date


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East Coast Main Line
ECML
Fraser Eagle
Grand Central
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Grand Central/Fraser Eagle Group

Grand Central targets early-December start date
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related documents


2006-03-27 Fraser Eagle backs Grand Central on East Coast Mainline (Fraser Eagle Group)

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date
8 June 2006
source Grand Central/Fraser Eagle Group
type Press release



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.

Grand Central is pleased to announce that subject to finalisation of negotiations on current rolling stock leasing, and a swift positive outcome to the pending judicial review brought against the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) by GNER; it hopes to be in a position to start running new train services from Sunderland on 10 December 2006.

Ian Yeowart, Managing Director of Grand Central, states:

"We have been absolutely determined that the continuing delay tactics adopted by GNER in an attempt to deprive the North East of these important economically valuable services will not deflect us in our task. It is clear that our operational start is made all the more difficult by the continuing challenge to a properly constructed decision that was initially made in January of this year. However, with the goodwill shown by other interested parties, our focus is firmly on a December start, which will be a great Christmas present for the people we seek to serve".

Fraser Eagle Group, the majority shareholder in Grand Central, has also been in discussions with other parties who have shown an interest in investing in Grand Central following the announcement from the ORR.

Kevin Dean, Managing Director of Fraser Eagle Group, comments:

"We were initially a little taken aback by the amount of interest, but are clearly delighted that this exciting opportunity has galvanised such a response. In order to ensure consistency of approach, the creation of a confidential information memorandum has been undertaken, and discussions on investment will continue for some time.

"We fully understand the commitment and timescales involved in the creation and operation of rail services, and it is vital that the right investment is in place to cement Grand Central's future, far beyond the initial short term five year contract contemplated by the ORR."

Grand Central is currently finalising the timetable for the inaugural services, and is confident of finding the necessary capacity to quickly provide the additional services from Sunderland that formed part of the initial request for services to Network Rail.

Ian Yeowart adds:

"With our Bradford and Halifax services on hold, it is vital that we continue to identify ways of delivering these important trains, and our involvement in the Route Utilisation Study, a position denied us by the industry prior to the ORR decision, allows us to be more confident in our ability to affect change.

"All Open Access service changes are always subject to agreement from the ORR, but the important economic tests are clearly defined, and it is up to Grand Central and stakeholders to approach each change consistently and with the necessary evidence.

"The ORR has always shown consistency in its decision making, even, unfortunately, when rejecting our first application. Communities awaiting service improvements should take great comfort from that fact!"

NOTES TO EDITORS

Fraser Eagle Group
1) Fraser Eagle Group is a multi-million pound group of companies
specialising in coach, bus and rail services, business continuity planning,
event management, interior design and hotel refurbishment.
2) Fraser Eagle employs around 400 people nationwide and is the largest
supplier of managed transport services to the UK rail industry.

Grand Central Railway Company Limited

1) Grand Central aims to deliver a high quality, affordable and
accessible train service to communities across the North of England who are
remote from direct services to London.

2) Grand Central has won three firm rights each way (Monday to Sunday)
to operate services between London King's Cross and Sunderland, calling at
York, Thirsk, Northallerton, Eaglescliffe (for Teesside) and Hartlepool.

ENQUIRIES:

Grand Central
Ian Yeowart, Managing Director Tel: 01904 633307

Fraser Eagle Group
Kevin Dean, Managing Director Tel: 08700 842 713
Andrew Taylor, PR Manager

College Hill
Gareth David Tel: 020 7457 2020


Railhub Archive ::: 2006-06-08 GCR-001





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