Grand Central North West route abandoned

Grand Central to suspend train services until March due to lockdown

Grand Central to suspend train services until March due to lockdown
Grand Central’s No. 90029 with two of the Mk 4 rakes of stock and 90026 on the rear, pass Atherstone during a shake down run on June 26. Photo: Chris Milner

Rail operator Grand Central is to suspend all its services for the next two months following the new national lockdown in England.

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

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A Grand Central spokesman said: “It’s hugely disappointing for us to be starting 2021 by removing our trains from the communities they serve.

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“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 1 and our services will remain open for bookings to travel from that date.

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“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.”

The spokesman said that following discussions with rail unions, workers and some support staff will be switched on to the Government furlough scheme over the next two months.

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Sam Hewitt

Let off some steam...