The company has received approval to operate an additional daily return service from Sunderland’s railway station to the capital, bringing its Monday to Saturday services to six in each direction, with five on Sundays.
The start date for the new services “will be announced in the near future”.
The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has granted access rights for Grand Central to operate the additional daily return service, between Sunderland and London’s Kings Cross Station until at least 2021.
Other stops on the route include Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe, Northallerton, Thirsk and York. Planning for the new services is now underway. This follows the completion of a £9million refurbishment programme by Grand Central.
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The additional services will provide more opportunities for passengers to travel by rail between London, North Yorkshire and the North East. It will provide customers with another 3,800 seats each week.
The new services will be a mid-morning departure at approximately 10am from Sunderland, with a mid-afternoon departure at approximately 2.30 pm from London Kings Cross, between Monday and Saturday.
The additional Sunday service will depart at approximately 10.30am from Sunderland with the return departing London Kings Cross at approximately 3:30pm.
Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central, said: “We’re delighted to be able to run an extra return daily service on our North East route between Sunderland and London.
“These additional services will support continued economic growth along our routes by enabling communities to thrive and providing more opportunities to connect people and places.
“New services are essential to providing choice in the rail market and to connecting communities and businesses. We’re pleased that the ORR shares our vision for sustainable investment in the rail industry.
“By offering low fares and benefits which are valued by our customers, we aim to make train travel and attractive and affordable option.”
Grand Central has been running trains between Sunderland and London since 2007. For more information visit: www.grandcentralrail.com