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April 6, 2020

Covid-19: Grand Central Railway halts operations

UK-based rail operator Grand Central Railway has temporarily halted its train services from 3 April due to travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has led to a reduction in passenger numbers.

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UK-based rail operator Grand Central Railway has temporarily halted its train services from 3 April due to travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has led to a reduction in passenger numbers.

The operator runs rail services between Sunderland, Bradford and London Kings Cross, and expects the suspension to last for at least two months.

As an open-access operator, Grand Central Railway assumes all the business risk and does not share the burden with the government, unlike other rail franchises.

The company is also not provided additional financial support under the Emergency Measures Agreement offered to other rail franchises by the Government.

Grand Central MD Richard McClean said: “So far we have offered a rail service, under a reduced timetable, in order to keep key-workers moving at a time of crisis. This comes with all the costs of running a train service while bringing no ticket revenue to our business.

“This situation is unsustainable and, following several days of discussion with the Department for Transport (DfT), we have no alternative but to suspend our services.

“Customers who have a ticket to travel with Grand Central can claim a full refund from the place they bought their ticket. People who absolutely need to travel, in line with government restrictions, can use their Grand Central ticket to travel on other train companies’ services.”

He said that the rail operator has also suspended the preparations for the Blackpool-London Euston services until next year.

Additionally, it will also suspend the launch of the extra daily trains on the Sunderland – Kings Cross route.

The company has also conducted talks with the three main rail unions so that staff are provided with ‘the best possible outcome’ during this time.

McClean added: “I emphasise that while these measures are necessary now, we are planning for them to be temporary.

“Grand Central enters this new chapter from a strong position. My team and I will do everything we can to get Grand Central back on track once restrictions are lifted. Until then, please stay safe.”

Last month, UK-based railway operator Hull Trains also suspended its rail operations amid the pandemic.

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Navigate your business through the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 continues to dominate headlines the world over. It has already affected our lives forever. The way we work, shop, eat, seek medical advice, and socialize will all be different in the future. Quite how different remains to be seen, but all industries must plan for multiple eventualities.  Faced with an explosion of conflicting information on how to plan and implement successful recovery strategies, decision-makers are in dire need of a single, reliable source of intelligence.   GlobalData’s COVID-19 Executive Briefing gives you access to unparalleled data and insights to successfully navigate the uncertain road to recovery across the world’s largest industries. Understand every aspect of this disruptive theme by delving into: 
  •  COVID-19 infection update, with statistics on the spread, testing by country, as well as the latest data on vaccines and therapeutic developments 
  • Economic impact overview, covering stock market indices, GDP, unemployment rates, policy responses & GlobalData’s economic recovery scorecards 
  • Sector developments, with access to sector insight summaries, cross-sector indices and the leaders and laggards in each industry vertical 
Whatever your company’s imminent strategic plans, the long-lasting impact of COVID-19 must not be overlooked. Find out how to futureproof your business operations – download our report today. 
by GlobalData
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