October 16, 2019 @ 9:08 by Richard Dawson
The train operator Grand Central has received approval to add to its daily return services from the North East to London. It will now operate six services in each direction Monday to Saturday and five on Sundays.
The access rights were granted by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and will allow Grand Central to operate the additional service until at least 2021.
The announcement of the new services comes after Grand Central completed a £9 million refurbishment programme.
It will provide better connectivity for customers in the North East and North Yorkshire, offering 3800 extra seats each week.
The new services will be a mid-morning departure at approximately 10:00 from Sunderland and a mid-afternoon departure at approximately 14:30 from London Kings Cross, Monday to Saturday. On Sunday, the service will leave Sunderland at 10:30 and London at 15:30.
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.”