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Grand Central is to temporarily suspend all its train services from the end of service on Friday (November 6) following the government’s announcement of a four-week lockdown in England to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The York-based operator, which runs services between Sunderland, Bradford and London King’s Cross, said the short period of hibernation was necessary. The company operates under an ‘Open Access’ business model and does not receive support from the Government.
In a statement, Grand Central Managing Director, Richard McClean, said: “Following the recent Government announcement that England will enter an initial four-week period of lockdown, Grand Central has made the decision to temporarily suspend all its rail services from the end of service on Friday 6th November.
“Customers with tickets to travel between 7th November and 2nd December can claim a full refund or change their ticket to a later date. Tickets remain on sale for trains departing from 3rd December onwards.
“After careful weighing up of our options and following discussions with the Department for Transport and trade union representatives, it’s clear that the difficult but necessary measure of taking a short period of hibernation is our only course of action. We enjoyed tremendous support from our customers after resuming services following the first national lockdown, and we thank them for their patience once again.
“Grand Central’s Open Access business model means, unlike most train operators, we rely exclusively on income from ticket sales, with no subsidy from Government. The new lockdown will bring an inevitable fall in passenger numbers, meaning it is not possible to continue operating during this period.
“With no trains in service some of our crew and associated staff will be supported by the Government furlough scheme during this period. Our staff continue to be a source of great pride to Grand Central thanks to their understanding, professionalism and commitment. We thank you.
“We also understand our passengers may have questions over refunds and cancelled services, and we have a dedicated web page to answer those queries and guide you to the relevant source of information. ”
Click here for more details.
Keep up to date with Grand Central’s announcements by following @GC_Rail on Twitter or visiting http://www.grandcentralrail.com/updates
Photo credit: Grand Central
This article first appeared on www.railbusinessdaily.com
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