Grand Central to expand its rail services in the UK

rail services in the UKArriva Group’s open access train operating company Grand Central has submitted an application to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for significant expansion of its rail services in the UK. The application could result in a significant uplift in capacity, around 30% for its services along existing routes connecting both the North East and West Yorkshire lines to London’s King’s Cross station.

The application includes a proposal for two additional daily return services between Bradford and London, with up to 8 stops in between, bringing the total to six a day.  It also includes an additional early morning connection from York into London King’s Cross, with a late evening return, bringing much needed additional capacity onto a key route, used by both business and leisure travellers.

Subject to approval, the new services could see more than 550,000 additional seats made available, a total uplift of more than 30% compared to what is available today.  Services could launch around May 2025.

The proposed expansion of company’s rail services in the UK include:

  • Increased frequency – with up to 2 additional daily return services between London and Bradford, which means 360,000 additional seats per year, a 50% increase on seats currently offered on West Yorkshire services by Grand Central;
  • Enhanced connectivity – an additional early morning departure from York to London Kings Cross and a late-evening return service delivering an extra capacity of 195,000 more seats.
  • New direct services through the introduction of 4 new daily calls at Seaham in Durham, providing passengers with a new direct connection to London. This will be the towns’ first and only direct connection to the capital;
  • Additional stops at Peterborough.

“These proposals would bring more services and choice to passengers, building on the success of Grand Central’s open access operations, which connect a number of under-served communities in both the North East and West Yorkshire to London. By delivering additional services through open access, we can encourage more train travel, which is good for the environment and for communities, helping to ensure Britain’s rail system can thrive long into the future,” David Brown, Managing Director of Arriva’s UK Trains division, said.

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