Grand Central once again named as Britain’s best train operator
Yorkshire-based train company, Grand Central, has been rated the passengers’ favourite in a national survey of rail users.
Credit: Grand Central
Since launching its first service 13 years ago between Sunderland and London Kings Cross, and adding Bradford to London services 10 years ago, Grand Central has proved a railway success story and has once again topped the twice-yearly National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) from Transport Focus.
The good news comes in the same week that Grand Central announced it would be returning to service on both routes in late-July, following a four-month hibernation period due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
Grand Central Managing Director, Richard McClean, said: “These have been a tough few months so to have our passengers rate us best in Britain is a massive boost for morale amongst our team, many of whom remain on temporary furlough as we gradually return to service.
“We’ve always enjoyed a strong endorsement from our customers in the NRPS. To be rated best overall operator in the country again is validation of our customer care and the work of our team. It also shows that giving passengers a choice of operator drives up overall satisfaction and value for money.”
According to the survey, Grand Central enjoyed an overall customer satisfaction score of 95 per cent. The company, which is part of the Arriva group, also topped the Value for Money table with a passenger rating of 74 per cent. Travellers also reported a 95 per cent satisfaction rate with Grand Central’s punctuality, and strongly improved scores for on board aspects of the journey following a £9 million refurbishment programme.
Richard added: “Operating under an Open Access business model means we rely on ticket sales and customer footfall like most airlines, hotels and retailers. The COVID-19 travel restrictions meant it simply wasn’t possible to viably run services, so we took the difficult but necessary decision to sit out the worst of the restrictions. Today’s results provide a great confidence boost and tell us we were getting the important things right for our customers. When we start running trains again on 26 July 2020 we’re committed to getting those basics right. We want staff and customers to feel confident about their journey and we will offer great value tickets and a warm welcome as usual.
“We’ve listened to what our passengers said and we want their first journey back with us to be a memorable one.”