Two UK-based rail operators, Grand Central and Hull Trains, have suspended their services temporarily for the third time, following the announcement of the latest Covid-19 lockdown.

Grand Central, which operates trains from the North East and West Yorkshire to London, announced that it will suspend its services on 9 January until 1 March.

Hull Trains announced the suspension of services to London from 9 January until further notice.

This move comes as both the rail operators do not receive government subsidy and are dependent on ticket sales.

A few workers and staff members will be furloughed until services are resumed.

Earlier, Grand Central and Hull Trains had halted services during the March and November lockdowns.

A Grand Central spokesman was quoted by BBC as saying: “It is hugely disappointing for us to be starting 2021 by removing our trains from the communities they serve.”

He also stated that the services have witnessed ‘a major drop in passenger demand for January and February’, even before the government recently announced the lockdown.

Hull Trains managing director Louise Cheeseman said: “We are again in a position where it is the right decision for the business to temporarily suspend all our direct rail services to London. The travel restrictions impact our income from ticket sales, so hibernating allows us to protect the business for longer so we can return as a sustainable rail operator once restrictions ease.”

Grand Central stated that queries related to refunds and cancelled services will be updated on its website.

Hull Trains stated that passengers who booked their tickets during the affected time period will be entitled to claim a full refund within 28 days of the journey.