Extra London train service from Grand Central

YORK-BASED train operator Grand Central is to launch a fifth daily service to and from London.

The company, which currently runs four trains a day in each direction, says it wants to give passengers and businesses more flexibility in travelling between York and Kings Cross, and also the north-east.

The additional service, which will be launched on December 8, will leave York for London on weekdays at 15.52 and leave York for the north-east at 13.22, but will only travel as far as Hartlepool.

On Saturdays, it will leave York for London at 17.02 and leave York for Sunderland at 15.18.

Managing director Richard McClean said the extra service was a great step for Grand Central, which was constantly striving to enhance and improve services for the benefit of passengers and businesses.

“We have been working hard for some time to obtain these extra trains and have successfully demonstrated to the Office of Rail Regulation that these services will have a positive impact on rail users and local communities.”

A spokeswoman said the new trains were classed as Off-Peak services, with Advance Purchase tickets available up to 12 weeks in advance.

Comments (6)

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11:47am Sat 13 Oct 12

pedalling paul says...

Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed.
As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.
Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed. As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Sat 13 Oct 12

dodgydavereturns says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed.
As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.
Anorak!
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed. As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.[/p][/quote]Anorak! dodgydavereturns
  • Score: 0

11:52pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Yorkie-Clifton says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed.
As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.
He knows a little about a lot and nothing about most things .
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed. As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.[/p][/quote]He knows a little about a lot and nothing about most things . Yorkie-Clifton
  • Score: 0

9:52pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Haywire says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed.
As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.
Funnily enough, recent statements from passenger interest groups, such as the one for Selby area, are advocating that "Open Access" companies should be taken over by the established franchise operator - except we don't have a franchise operator on East Coast!

Open Access companies are one of the absolute nonsenses of the "privatised" railway. John Major (British Railways are deeply inefficient) restricted open access companies in the first years of "privatisation", so that the franchise holders could get their noses well into the trough. Then the cherry pickers were allowed to flourish, (or not in most cases). They do not pay the costs they should for running on Network Rail infrastructure. Their track record is "interesting". Scan the Press's archives for some of the nightmare journeys endured by their early adherents. But then again, a good bit of the British public belief what Mr. Branson tells them.
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Hopefully GC and other operators will be able to negotiate yet more track access slots from Network Rail, when the new Hitchin flyover is completed. As for diverting slower freight trains via Lincoln with its plethora of level crossings...that might take longer to achieve.[/p][/quote]Funnily enough, recent statements from passenger interest groups, such as the one for Selby area, are advocating that "Open Access" companies should be taken over by the established franchise operator - except we don't have a franchise operator on East Coast! Open Access companies are one of the absolute nonsenses of the "privatised" railway. John Major (British Railways are deeply inefficient) restricted open access companies in the first years of "privatisation", so that the franchise holders could get their noses well into the trough. Then the cherry pickers were allowed to flourish, (or not in most cases). They do not pay the costs they should for running on Network Rail infrastructure. Their track record is "interesting". Scan the Press's archives for some of the nightmare journeys endured by their early adherents. But then again, a good bit of the British public belief what Mr. Branson tells them. Haywire
  • Score: 0

2:20am Tue 16 Oct 12

Magicman! says...

Open Access operators like Grand Central have found a niche that the franchised operators didn't want to invest in - and they didn't want to invest because the government is demanding evermore ridiculously-high sums of money from companies for the privelege of running trains on a route. Take a look at previous franchise winners, not just on the East Coast or the West Coast, but anywhere and there is one common theme: the winner agreed to pay the government the most amount of money. It hasn't got National Express very far, because all theye did for the ECML was bid to win without thinking it through properly. But even if their sums had been right, would they have sourced some Intercity 125's to run between London and Sunderland (a backwater compared to Newcastle or Edinburgh) at their own expense? On top of premium payments? not likely.
Open Access operators put their own money on the line to develop a service that hasn't been there.... in some cases like Wrexham and Shropshire it falls through and they go under - But compare that the Grand Central who had quite a bad start but have grown on the 3 trains per day to sunderland to give an additional 3 trains a day to Bradford and Halifax, which are deemed successful enough for them to be trying to gain paths for those services to be increased too. You then have other private companies like Chiltern Railways who are actually building new stations and infrastructure to boost patronage.... Compare all that to National Express east coast, where all they did was try and cream off the most money whilst driving down staff morale and value for money.

The Selby and district Rail Users group are a bunch of morons if they think the franchised operators swallowing up open access operators would actually offer good value for the travelling public (think about the bus world - where two big companies compete against each other, such as Transdev and First on the University corridor, fares get driven down to a point where the companies still make profit but the customer benefits - contrasted to where First have the market all to themselves, such as in Haxby or Monks Cross, where services have been notably reduced because people have no choice).... and to me it seems suspiciously like the more vocal in the SDRUG might have vested interests in certain train operating companies.

The whole idea of privatising the railways "to encourage competition" has not been carried out - it was simply another tory governments' "sell it quick and make money today" scheme... if you want to go from York to Retford, Newark, Peterborough or Stevenage you have ONE company who provides those services. That is not competition; and simply allowing those companies to come together and show the government briefcases full of money every 5-10 years is not competition either. Very very few places exist in the UK where you have competition between companies: edinburgh or glasgow to London can be taken east side or west side; leeds to london can either be taken by east coast or by the midland mainline; manchester to london can be done by the west coast or by the midland mainline via sheffield; northallerton or thisrk to york can be done by transpennine or grand central. But that's about it.
Open Access operators like Grand Central have found a niche that the franchised operators didn't want to invest in - and they didn't want to invest because the government is demanding evermore ridiculously-high sums of money from companies for the privelege of running trains on a route. Take a look at previous franchise winners, not just on the East Coast or the West Coast, but anywhere and there is one common theme: the winner agreed to pay the government the most amount of money. It hasn't got National Express very far, because all theye did for the ECML was bid to win without thinking it through properly. But even if their sums had been right, would they have sourced some Intercity 125's to run between London and Sunderland (a backwater compared to Newcastle or Edinburgh) at their own expense? On top of premium payments? not likely. Open Access operators put their own money on the line to develop a service that hasn't been there.... in some cases like Wrexham and Shropshire it falls through and they go under - But compare that the Grand Central who had quite a bad start but have grown on the 3 trains per day to sunderland to give an additional 3 trains a day to Bradford and Halifax, which are deemed successful enough for them to be trying to gain paths for those services to be increased too. You then have other private companies like Chiltern Railways who are actually building new stations and infrastructure to boost patronage.... Compare all that to National Express east coast, where all they did was try and cream off the most money whilst driving down staff morale and value for money. The Selby and district Rail Users group are a bunch of morons if they think the franchised operators swallowing up open access operators would actually offer good value for the travelling public (think about the bus world - where two big companies compete against each other, such as Transdev and First on the University corridor, fares get driven down to a point where the companies still make profit but the customer benefits - contrasted to where First have the market all to themselves, such as in Haxby or Monks Cross, where services have been notably reduced because people have no choice).... and to me it seems suspiciously like the more vocal in the SDRUG might have vested interests in certain train operating companies. The whole idea of privatising the railways "to encourage competition" has not been carried out - it was simply another tory governments' "sell it quick and make money today" scheme... if you want to go from York to Retford, Newark, Peterborough or Stevenage you have ONE company who provides those services. That is not competition; and simply allowing those companies to come together and show the government briefcases full of money every 5-10 years is not competition either. Very very few places exist in the UK where you have competition between companies: edinburgh or glasgow to London can be taken east side or west side; leeds to london can either be taken by east coast or by the midland mainline; manchester to london can be done by the west coast or by the midland mainline via sheffield; northallerton or thisrk to york can be done by transpennine or grand central. But that's about it. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

8:58am Tue 16 Oct 12

Haywire says...

Magicman! wrote:
Open Access operators like Grand Central have found a niche that the franchised operators didn't want to invest in - and they didn't want to invest because the government is demanding evermore ridiculously-high sums of money from companies for the privelege of running trains on a route. Take a look at previous franchise winners, not just on the East Coast or the West Coast, but anywhere and there is one common theme: the winner agreed to pay the government the most amount of money. It hasn't got National Express very far, because all theye did for the ECML was bid to win without thinking it through properly. But even if their sums had been right, would they have sourced some Intercity 125's to run between London and Sunderland (a backwater compared to Newcastle or Edinburgh) at their own expense? On top of premium payments? not likely.
Open Access operators put their own money on the line to develop a service that hasn't been there.... in some cases like Wrexham and Shropshire it falls through and they go under - But compare that the Grand Central who had quite a bad start but have grown on the 3 trains per day to sunderland to give an additional 3 trains a day to Bradford and Halifax, which are deemed successful enough for them to be trying to gain paths for those services to be increased too. You then have other private companies like Chiltern Railways who are actually building new stations and infrastructure to boost patronage.... Compare all that to National Express east coast, where all they did was try and cream off the most money whilst driving down staff morale and value for money.

The Selby and district Rail Users group are a bunch of morons if they think the franchised operators swallowing up open access operators would actually offer good value for the travelling public (think about the bus world - where two big companies compete against each other, such as Transdev and First on the University corridor, fares get driven down to a point where the companies still make profit but the customer benefits - contrasted to where First have the market all to themselves, such as in Haxby or Monks Cross, where services have been notably reduced because people have no choice).... and to me it seems suspiciously like the more vocal in the SDRUG might have vested interests in certain train operating companies.

The whole idea of privatising the railways "to encourage competition" has not been carried out - it was simply another tory governments' "sell it quick and make money today" scheme... if you want to go from York to Retford, Newark, Peterborough or Stevenage you have ONE company who provides those services. That is not competition; and simply allowing those companies to come together and show the government briefcases full of money every 5-10 years is not competition either. Very very few places exist in the UK where you have competition between companies: edinburgh or glasgow to London can be taken east side or west side; leeds to london can either be taken by east coast or by the midland mainline; manchester to london can be done by the west coast or by the midland mainline via sheffield; northallerton or thisrk to york can be done by transpennine or grand central. But that's about it.
Some fair points there, Magicman.
However, if the open access operators had to work to the same conditions and costs as the franchise operator, they just would not be there. They can offer cheaper fares and thus abstract revenue from the franchise companies (most of which you, possibly, and I support) because they don't have anywhere near the same costs. I hasten to add that I am no great enthusiast for the franchise holders, but the open access operators are cherry pickers pure and simple. They came to be because John Major (British Rail is deeply inefficient) and his Treasury wonks dabbled with an industry they knew nothing about.
You are correct to say that York to Retford, Newark, etc., is served (directly) by only one Railway Operating Company. However, rail's principal competitors in the passenger market are the private car and the airlines (over certain distances). Buses and coaches tend to serve a different market and in some instances to be complementary to rail travel.
I am broadly sympathetic to your overall view, but cannot agree with you regarding what has happened to the bus industry. Post deregulation history would suggest that, at some point in the future, Transdev will either go out of business after a fares and frequency war with First or be taken over by First. This was another case of a Tory government dabbling with a business they didn't understand. Public service - forget it!
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Open Access operators like Grand Central have found a niche that the franchised operators didn't want to invest in - and they didn't want to invest because the government is demanding evermore ridiculously-high sums of money from companies for the privelege of running trains on a route. Take a look at previous franchise winners, not just on the East Coast or the West Coast, but anywhere and there is one common theme: the winner agreed to pay the government the most amount of money. It hasn't got National Express very far, because all theye did for the ECML was bid to win without thinking it through properly. But even if their sums had been right, would they have sourced some Intercity 125's to run between London and Sunderland (a backwater compared to Newcastle or Edinburgh) at their own expense? On top of premium payments? not likely. Open Access operators put their own money on the line to develop a service that hasn't been there.... in some cases like Wrexham and Shropshire it falls through and they go under - But compare that the Grand Central who had quite a bad start but have grown on the 3 trains per day to sunderland to give an additional 3 trains a day to Bradford and Halifax, which are deemed successful enough for them to be trying to gain paths for those services to be increased too. You then have other private companies like Chiltern Railways who are actually building new stations and infrastructure to boost patronage.... Compare all that to National Express east coast, where all they did was try and cream off the most money whilst driving down staff morale and value for money. The Selby and district Rail Users group are a bunch of morons if they think the franchised operators swallowing up open access operators would actually offer good value for the travelling public (think about the bus world - where two big companies compete against each other, such as Transdev and First on the University corridor, fares get driven down to a point where the companies still make profit but the customer benefits - contrasted to where First have the market all to themselves, such as in Haxby or Monks Cross, where services have been notably reduced because people have no choice).... and to me it seems suspiciously like the more vocal in the SDRUG might have vested interests in certain train operating companies. The whole idea of privatising the railways "to encourage competition" has not been carried out - it was simply another tory governments' "sell it quick and make money today" scheme... if you want to go from York to Retford, Newark, Peterborough or Stevenage you have ONE company who provides those services. That is not competition; and simply allowing those companies to come together and show the government briefcases full of money every 5-10 years is not competition either. Very very few places exist in the UK where you have competition between companies: edinburgh or glasgow to London can be taken east side or west side; leeds to london can either be taken by east coast or by the midland mainline; manchester to london can be done by the west coast or by the midland mainline via sheffield; northallerton or thisrk to york can be done by transpennine or grand central. But that's about it.[/p][/quote]Some fair points there, Magicman. However, if the open access operators had to work to the same conditions and costs as the franchise operator, they just would not be there. They can offer cheaper fares and thus abstract revenue from the franchise companies (most of which you, possibly, and I support) because they don't have anywhere near the same costs. I hasten to add that I am no great enthusiast for the franchise holders, but the open access operators are cherry pickers pure and simple. They came to be because John Major (British Rail is deeply inefficient) and his Treasury wonks dabbled with an industry they knew nothing about. You are correct to say that York to Retford, Newark, etc., is served (directly) by only one Railway Operating Company. However, rail's principal competitors in the passenger market are the private car and the airlines (over certain distances). Buses and coaches tend to serve a different market and in some instances to be complementary to rail travel. I am broadly sympathetic to your overall view, but cannot agree with you regarding what has happened to the bus industry. Post deregulation history would suggest that, at some point in the future, Transdev will either go out of business after a fares and frequency war with First or be taken over by First. This was another case of a Tory government dabbling with a business they didn't understand. Public service - forget it! Haywire
  • Score: 0

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