York train operator Grand Central makes loss of £8.5m

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

YORK train operator Grand Central has sought to reassure passengers after new figures revealed it made a loss of almost £8.5 million in the year to March 31.

The deficit came on top of a loss of almost £4.9 million for the three months to March 31, 2010, with the overall shareholders’ deficit growing to almost £35 million by the end of March.

The company, which operates direct services from York to London and also north to Sunderland, said after making losses last year that it aimed to be in profit this year.

A spokesman said yesterday that, while the past year’s results were ‘disappointing,’ the signs so far for this financial year were much more encouraging.

He said passenger revenue, in common with other train operators, had been adversely affected by challenging economic conditions and prolonged adverse winter weather, both of which reduced demand for long-distance rail travel, and there had also been some sizable one-off payments.

He said there had been a major investment in Grand Central’s passenger trains, including the re-engineering of the High Speed Train fleet, which had delivered performance benefits, but an increase of more than 50 per cent in the price of diesel was a concern.

He said passenger revenue was on budget so far this financial year, with average passenger loads up 13 per cent on the North Eastern route compared to the same period last year.

Passenger income last week was 27 per cent greater than for the same week last year and a range of promotions, including Special Fares, Kids Go Free offers and the introduction of Advanced Purchase fares valid for travel from September 1, were already delivering a significant contribution to the business.

“Grand Central’s investors and shareholders remain committed to the business and we continue to develop our plans to expand the range of services we provide and the number of destinations that we serve,” he said.

Comments (4)

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12:48pm Tue 23 Aug 11

Von_Dutch says...

I do hope that GC remain operating and don't go under. I much prefer using them than their East Coast counterparts. Less crowded, comfier seats, more leg room, free wifi etc.
I do hope that GC remain operating and don't go under. I much prefer using them than their East Coast counterparts. Less crowded, comfier seats, more leg room, free wifi etc. Von_Dutch
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Tue 23 Aug 11

Magicman! says...

It is a pleasure to travel on their trains - even on the Adelante's which aren't as quiet as the high speed trains due to having underfloor engines.
It is a pleasure to travel on their trains - even on the Adelante's which aren't as quiet as the high speed trains due to having underfloor engines. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

6:37pm Tue 23 Aug 11

Guy Fawkes says...

I've used GC twice. The first was efficient, comfortable and hassle-free; the second was a nightmare, with a cancelled train (due to a staff shortage), a five-hour delay and then having to stand all the way from King's Cross to York.

The bottom line is that with a train only every 4-5 hours, significant reliability issues, very small trains that get overcrowded very easily and ticket prices that, while not as bad as GNER's (or whatever they call themselves these days), are still a lot more expensive than driving, especially if more than one person is travelling, I'm just not interested. Give me a train which is no more likely to be delayed than I am to encounter a traffic jam on the M1, costs no more than driving my Fiesta to London and in which I have a sealed compartment in which I don't have to put up with hissing iPods, smelly fast food and chavs screaming at the top of their voice using a dialect in which the only adjective and adverb begins with the letter F, and then I might just be tempted to give it a try. But not unless.
I've used GC twice. The first was efficient, comfortable and hassle-free; the second was a nightmare, with a cancelled train (due to a staff shortage), a five-hour delay and then having to stand all the way from King's Cross to York. The bottom line is that with a train only every 4-5 hours, significant reliability issues, very small trains that get overcrowded very easily and ticket prices that, while not as bad as GNER's (or whatever they call themselves these days), are still a lot more expensive than driving, especially if more than one person is travelling, I'm just not interested. Give me a train which is no more likely to be delayed than I am to encounter a traffic jam on the M1, costs no more than driving my Fiesta to London and in which I have a sealed compartment in which I don't have to put up with hissing iPods, smelly fast food and chavs screaming at the top of their voice using a dialect in which the only adjective and adverb begins with the letter F, and then I might just be tempted to give it a try. But not unless. Guy Fawkes
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Tue 23 Aug 11

yorkshirelad says...

I agree with some of what Guy Fawkes says. I don't see why people should have to put up with the loud party atmosphere on trains. In France, it is striking that their standard class looks pretty much like first class here...and mobile phones have to be used in the vestibules in *all* their carriages. Before folk point me to the 'quiet' carriages, these are generally a bit more relaxing but do turn into loud boorish party carriages all to frequently.
Still...beats sitting in a car on the M1 any day!
I agree with some of what Guy Fawkes says. I don't see why people should have to put up with the loud party atmosphere on trains. In France, it is striking that their standard class looks pretty much like first class here...and mobile phones have to be used in the vestibules in *all* their carriages. Before folk point me to the 'quiet' carriages, these are generally a bit more relaxing but do turn into loud boorish party carriages all to frequently. Still...beats sitting in a car on the M1 any day! yorkshirelad
  • Score: 0

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