Grand Central to invest £10m if it wins franchise extension

RAIL operator Grand Central intends to invest £10m in its rail network in Yorkshire and the North East if it gets approval to operate services beyond 2016.

The York-based firm, which is owned by Arriva and runs services between Yorkshire and the North East and London, is currently seeking to extend its contract for 10 years.

If it gets approval, the company has pledged to refurbish its rolling stock of trains and spend £2.5m on the stations along the route.

Grand Central runs five daily services between the North East and London and is launching its fourth daily Yorkshire service to London Kings Cross next month.

The West Yorkshire route goes via Halifax, Brighouse, Wakefield Kirkgate, Pontefract Monkhill and Doncaster, taking just under three hours.

From December 9, passengers travelling between Bradford and London will have access to a 7.52am service from Bradford with a return journey at 4.03pm.

The West Riding route was launched in 2010, connecting areas of the region with London that do not have another direct service.

According to its last accounts filed at Companies House, Grand Central posted a £27m turnover in 2012 and a pre-tax loss of £412,000.