Blackpool's new trains company 'pleased' after topping survey

Trains firm Grand Central has been voted best long distance operator for the ninth time and best for value for money in a national survey of rail users.

Saturday, 1st February 2020, 11:45 am

This comes as the company is on track to launch its new route between Blackpool and London Euston later this year.

Transport Focus has (January 28 ) released figures for its twice yearly National Rail Passenger Survey for Autumn 2019. The survey reveals that Grand Central was the best long distance operator for the ninth time, scoring 94 per cent.

The open access operator was also rated best overall for value for money, scoring 75 per cent, compared with a national average of 47 per cent.

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One of the refurbished Grand Central Pendolino trains

Grand Central has been granted access rights by the Office of Rail and Road to operate services between Blackpool and London Euston until 2026 from May.

The trains will run from Blackpool stopping at Poulton-le-Fylde, Kirkham and Wesham, Preston, Nuneaton, Milton Keynes and London Euston.

Richard McClean, managing director at Grand Central, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that once again we’ve been named as the number one long distance train company in the country with a score of 94 per cent and to be rated best for overall value for money at 75 per cent.

"We are delighted to be launching our new route from Blackpool to Euston this year. We will bring our operational expertise and industry-leading customer service to this new route, offering more choice for existing rail users and new opportunities for people to travel by train.

“In addition to this we have just completed the £9m refurbishment of our entire fleet of trains."