Arriva acquires open access operator Grand Central Railway
4 November 2011
Arriva plc has confirmed it has acquired UK open access operator Grand Central Railway which runs passenger train services between Sunderland and London, and between Bradford/Halifax and London.
The acquisition, for an undisclosed amount, adds to Arriva’s UK Trains portfolio of the CrossCountry, Arriva Trains Wales and Chiltern Railways franchises, and concessions to operate the Tyne and Wear Metro and (as a joint venture) London Overground operations.
Grand Central is an open access operator, it does not receive subsidy from, or pay any premium to the Department for Transport. It operates four direct services between Sunderland and London Kings Cross daily, and three direct services between Bradford/Halifax and London Kings Cross. It provides approximately 700,000 passenger journeys a year.
Bob Holland, Arriva UK Trains managing director, said: “We firmly believe open access will play a valuable part of a balanced portfolio for our UK Trains division alongside our three franchises and concessions operated on London Overground and the Tyne and Wear Metro.
“Bringing Grand Central on board means we have a live open access operation up and running, one which is popular with customers and which we believe we can develop to become a key commercial part of our UK rail operations.”