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Grand Central submits application to expand open access services

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Arriva Group’s open access train operating company, Grand Central, has submitted an application to the ORR that could result in a 30% uplift in capacity for its services along existing routes connecting both the North East and West Yorkshire lines to London’s King’s Cross station.

The application includes a proposal for two additional daily return services between Bradford and London (with up to eight stops in between), bringing the total to six a day. It also includes an additional early morning connection from York into London King’s Cross, with a late evening return, bringing much needed additional capacity onto a key route, used by both business and leisure travellers.

Subject to approval, the new services could see more than 550,000 additional seats made available, a total uplift of more than 30 percent compared to what is available today. Services could launch around May 2025.

David Brown, managing director of Arriva’s UK Trains division, commented: “These proposals would bring more services and choice to passengers, building on the success of Grand Central’s open access operations, which connect a number of under-served communities in both the North East and West Yorkshire to London.

“This is a growth opportunity for the railway and a positive development for passengers and for our colleagues at Grand Central. By delivering additional services through open access, we can encourage more train travel, which is good for the environment and for communities, helping to ensure Britain’s rail system can thrive long into the future.”

Arriva Group has extensive operating experience across long-distance, commuter, urban, inter-urban and regional train services, through its UK Trains division which includes Grand Central, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry and Arriva Rail London. It is the only owning group to have experience with all contract types currently in use on Britain’s railway, including national rail contracts, a concessionary contract and the open access company under the Grand Central brand.

Image credit: Arriva

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