Grand Central Railway launches direct train service linking London with north east England

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

British Rail Class 43 number 43067 leads the first service into London King’s Cross

Route of the new service.

Grand Central Railway have today launched a new train service between London King’s Cross and Sunderland in the north east of England. The first service arrived in London shortly before 1030 UTC.

The company has been troubled with a variety of difficulties which have caused the launch to be cancelled on a number of occasions. More recently problems with acquiring rolling stock, the decision by the Office of Rail Regulation to allow the services was challenged by the then principal operator of East Coast Main Line services, GNER.

The new service calls at Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk, York, and terminates at London King’s Cross.

Grand Central are operating an interim timetable of one return journey per day until more rolling stock becomes available, expected by the end of January, to permit the full timetable of three return journeys to begin.

The company is only one of a few “open access” operators in the United Kingdom which rather than bidding for a franchise and running a level of service set by government, Grand Central applied for access rights having identified a commercial opportunity.



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