02 April 2015

The proposals will see investment in new trains, prescription more travelling options for rail users, new jobs introduced to the region, and will deliver significant economic benefits across the towns and cities served.

The open access rail operator is to seek approval from the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and will shortly consult the rail industry on the plans.

Grand Central is recognised as the UK’s most trusted long distance rail company[1] according to recent research by Passenger Focus. The rail company also tops the UK rail operators in terms of passenger satisfaction, with a 94 per cent satisfaction rating in the latest National Rail Passenger Survey[2], and top place in the latest Which[3] train satisfaction survey.

The key features and benefits of the Grand Central service are:

Six return trains a day between London and Blackpool – starting in 2017

Investment in a fleet of new 6 coach Alstom Pendolino trains

The creation of more than 120 new jobs

Significant wider economic benefits across the towns and cities served, particularly Blackpool which has recently received Enterprise Zone status.

Richard McClean, managing director of Grand Central said: “Grand Central has a solid reputation for providing great services and achieving market leading customer satisfaction. Since we began in 2007 we have consistently scored highly in passenger surveys, with our services much valued by more than one million customers”.

 “We are very excited about the opportunity to provide our market leading services for people on the West Coast Main Line and to delivering much needed services for Blackpool.”

For more information contact Neil Yeowart or Chris Brandon at 01904 628904 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit our website at:

Notes to editors:

Grand Central will operate services on behalf of Alliance Rail

Grand Central and Alliance Rail are part of the Arriva Group

Open Access train services operate outside the franchise system. They do not receive any subsidy from or pay any premium to the Department for Transport.

Alliance Rail has also made applications to operate services on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh calling at Newcastle, and London King’s Cross and West Yorkshire/Lincolnshire.