HomeBusinessGrand Central suspends services for two months

Grand Central suspends services for two months


Grand Central, the open-access train operator that links major towns and cities in Yorkshire and the North East with London,  has announced  that it will suspend all its services, for an initial two months, from the end of service on Friday 3 April.

For the past two weeks, Grand Central had operated a rail service, under a reduced timetable, in order to keep key workers moving at a time of crisis. As an open-access rail operator, this came with all the costs of running a train service, while bringing in no revenue to the business and with no government support.

This was clearly an unsustainable situation and, despite the backing of Grand Central’s parent company, the Deutsche Bahn-owned Arriva, managing director Richard McClean decided things couldn’t continue as they were.

Richard McClean, Grand Central.

“Following several days of discussion with the Department for Transport, Grand Central has decided to suspend all its services, for an initial two months, from the end of service on Friday 3 April,” he said. “We have also paused, until early 2021, the preparations for our new Blackpool to London Euston services, and the launch of our planned extra daily trains on Grand Central’s Sunderland to Kings Cross route.

“We will keep in close contact with the three main rail unions, to ensure the best possible outcome for our brilliant team during an initial two-month ‘hibernation’, and we will be making use of the Government’s furlough scheme. A skeleton team will continue working to ensure Grand Central is ready to resume services as a thriving train operator, serving communities across the country, once restrictions ease.

“I emphasise that these measures are necessary, but temporary. Grand Central enters this new chapter from a strong position. My team and I will do everything we can to get Grand Central back on track once restrictions are lifted.

“I want to thank everyone who continues to support us at this time and it heartens us to see we have many friends, in our suppliers, customers, community and business partners and across the political spectrum. We will keep you updated in the coming weeks.

“Finally, I want to thank the Grand Central team which has, without exception proved, professional, understanding and supportive throughout this situation.

“Grand Central will be back. And we will come back stronger and more resilient. Until then, stay safe.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Rail engineers strike gold in sustainability school

Multidisciplinary engineering business Dyer & Butler has earned Gold level status from the Supply Chain Sustainability School (SCSS). This is the highest level of membership...

Tunnel operation takes flight with help from a helicopter

Essential work on a tunnel in the Peak District got some help from high places. Helicopters helped airlift construction materials into position as part of...

Island Line to re-open this autumn

South Western Railway has said that the Island Line is set to reopen on 1 November. The upgraded line’s reopening is subject to a final...
- Advertisement -

More news

Rail review author calls for rail fares reform

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan For Rail white paper, has urged for fares reform – arguing there has never been a better...

Iconic arrows get a dash of green ahead of environmental summit

The famous National Rail double arrow has turned several shades of green ahead of the COP26 UN climate summit, which takes place in November. The...

Digital signalling for East Coast main line tested on Thameslink

A test of the digital in-cab signalling system ECTS level 2 (European Train Control System) has been carried out successfully using a Govia Thameslink...