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VIDEO - Ten years of trains from London to Thirsk


4:44pm 7th December 2017
(Updated 4:46pm 7th December 2017)

Grand Central is celebrating 10 years in business and has marked its special milestone with a series of special anniversary events and promotions to thank its customers, staff and supporters.

The company brought regular London services to Thirsk and has also been popular in Northallerton and York.

It runs from Sunderland to London Kings Cross and also has a route to Bradford too.

Before it started there were only occasional East Coast services to Northallerton and they raced through Thirsk without stopping.

It's what's known as an Open Access operator and together with Hull Trains at Selby was a pioneer of competition on the UK rail network.


The Executive Team

Grand Central Executive team

The train operating company, which operates two routes linking 15 stations in the North East and Yorkshire with London, covers over 1.5million train miles and carries more than 1.4million passenger journeys every year.

Richard McClean, Managing Director at Grand Central, said:

“I am very proud of our track record and I’d like to thank all our customers, partners and colleagues for their support over the last decade.

This 10th anniversary is a big deal for us and we’re delighted to be able to share it with our customers and colleagues as they have been critical to the success of our journey so far.

As we look forward to 2018 and to the next decade of our history, we have ambitious plans and are facing some exciting times ahead. Alongside significant investment in our trains, we will be seeking to grow our business, running more trains and calling at more stations.”


Grand Central Railway Train


VIDEO - Sunderland to London Kings Cross via Northallerton, Thirsk and York in 6 minutes



Top facts about Grand Central:

• Grand Central began operating in 2007 and has been part of Arriva since 2011

• Grand Central operates two routes: London to the North East and North Yorkshire (from Dec 2007) and London to West Yorkshire (from May 2010)

• Grand Central operates 18 trains a day serving 15 stations

• Grand Central has over 150 employees with over 100 frontline staff

• Grand Central has 59 volunteer station ambassadors

• Grand Central covers over 1.5million train miles every year

• Grand Central carries over 1.4million passenger journeys every year
Highlights of the decade:

• Grand Central’s maiden voyage left Sunderland for London Kings Cross on December 17 2007

• In 2010, direct train services were restored to Wakefield Kirkgate

• The Office of Rail and Road extended Grand Central’s operating license in 2014 for 10 years, running until 2026

• Grand Central was the highest rated train operator in terms of customer satisfaction (National Rail Passenger Survey, Spring 2016)

• In October 2016, Grand Central marked the 40th anniversary of the High Speed Train with its distinguished industrial designer Sir Kenneth Grange at a special ceremony at the National Railway Museum

• Grand Central scooped the prestigious Passenger Safety award at the UK Rail Industry Awards in February 2017

• A First Class lounge was opened at Wakefield Kirkgate in April 2017

• Railway Gazette International named Grand Central as operator of the fastest timetabled diesel train service in the world (July 2017)

• Grand Central was named Britain’s best value long distance train company for the fifth year in a row in July 2017 by the National Rail Passenger Survey.

grand central 2 train

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