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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Grand Central outlines plans for uniform fleet of trains and investment in stations

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Open access train operator Grand Central has unveiled plans for an all class 180 Adelante fleet if it receives approval to operate services beyond 2016.

The new trains would replace its fleet of HSTs which operate alongside its class 180s.

It is envisaged that class 180s may become available as First Great Western introduces new Hitachi built express trains as part of the Intercity Express programme.

Other plans for investing in Grand Central’s network include reinstating a disused platform at Hartlepool, to improve capacity and flexibility, and investment in car parking and passenger facilities.

Managing director of Grand Central Richard McClean said: “Over the next few years we plan to make very significant investments in our train fleet and supporting stations and infrastructure. We are applying to extend our current track access contract for 10 years as we want the opportunity to grow and improve our service for Grand Central’s passengers and communities.”

Open access operators run trains under a track access contract approved by the Office of rail Regulation (ORR) and a 28-day public consultation on the train operator’s application to run services until 2026 began earlier this month.

The consultation, which is being run by Network Rail on Grand Central’s behalf, will give other train operators and passenger transport executives the opportunity to give their views and comments on the proposals.

The ORR is expected to announce its verdict by the end of this year.

Report by Jonathan Webb

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