Train operator Grand Central suspends services

Open Access train operator Grand Central has suspended all its services throughout January and February following Monday’s Government announcement of a new phase of national lockdown in England.

By Ian Hirst
Sunday, 10th January 2021, 8:00 am

The company plans to hibernate services on both its North East and West Riding routes from Saturday January 9, with a return to service currently planned for March 1.

A Grand Central spokesman said: “It’s hugely disappointing for us to be starting 2021 by removing our trains from the communities they serve. However, even before Monday’s Government announcement of a total lockdown, the impact of tightening tier restrictions and ongoing engineering work on the East Coast Main Line had caused a major drop in passenger demand for January and February.

“As an Open Access operator, relying exclusively on income from ticket sales, it’s clear we would best serve the needs of our business and our staff and passengers, by taking a period of hibernation. We are currently planning to return on March 1st and our services will remain open for bookings to travel from that date.

Grand Central train

"Meanwhile we will continually monitor the national situation and provide updates through our usual communication channels. We may return sooner if the lifting of restrictions allows.”

“Following discussions with rail unions, our crew and some of our support staff will be switched onto the Government furlough scheme during this hibernation period. Once again we thank our staff for their understanding, professionalism and commitment following this difficult but necessary decision.

“Grand Central will be back, until then please follow Government advice and stay safe.”

Passengers with queries over refunds and cancelled services can visit the dedicated web page at www.grandcentralrail.com/updates