Posted 27th November 2023 | No Comments

ORR adds Peterborough stop for Grand Central

Grand Central trains will soon be calling at Peterborough for the first time.

The open access operator has been given approval for its trains to call at Peterborough twice a day from Monday to Saturday by the Office of Rail and Road.

Grand Central began running on the East Coast Main Line between London and Sunderland in December 2007. After Hull Trains, it was the second open access operator on the route, and it was given permission by the regulator to call at York.

This decision proved controversial and it was legally challenged, without success, by the franchised operator GNER, which withdrew from the industry soon afterwards.

Grand Central added a second route between London and Bradford in May 2010, but the new approval for Peterborough marks the first time that its trains have been allowed to call at an intermediate station south of York.

The ORR said it supports open access services where these provide competition without ‘unduly’ affecting performance. It also considers what the effect will be on Government funds. The modern successor to GNER on the East Coast route is LNER, which is nationalised. Local services between London and Peterborough are run by private sector Govia Thameslink Railway, which has a National Rail Contract.

The ORR’s director of strategy, policy and reform Stephanie Tobyn said: ‘Open access services promote competition on the rail network and give passengers more choice about how they travel. With passenger numbers still not quite recovered following the pandemic, it’s important that the network provides options for all as the industry looks to increase passenger journeys.

‘ORR plays a crucial role in overseeing competition on our railway, and we’ll continue to assess open access applications with the goal of providing greater consumer choice, value and performance.’