Yet another plan from Grand Central, this time they intend to run King's Cross to Bradford/Sunderland, with 5 car Meridians operating in 10 car formation up to Doncaster and then splitting with one portion going to Bradford and the other going to Sunderland, more below:
Taken from hereNew 'Meridian' trains for Grand Central's Bradford/Halifax and Sunderland/Hartlepool to London services [Wednesday 15 June 2005]
Grand Central Railway Company Ltd. (Grand Central) is a York-based company, which plans to launch new high quality train services from West Yorkshire and the North East to London. These new services will be operated on a fully commercial basis, without any Government subsidy.
Grand Central has begun discussions with Network Rail regarding the operation of its planned new rail services to London using brand new five-coach Class 222 "Meridian" trains, which are capable of 125 mph and offer a significant degree of operational flexibility.
Given the severe capacity constraints at the southern end of the East Coast Main Line (ECML), Grand Central plans to operate its Class 222 trains in a ten-coach formation from London Kings Cross to Doncaster.
The trains would then divide, with one five-coach unit travelling to Halifax and Bradford Interchange, with the other continuing to York and stations to Hartlepool and Sunderland.
By joining and splitting its services at Doncaster, Grand Central will only require four train paths daily, in each direction, between Doncaster and London King's Cross. This will make it significantly easier for Network Rail and the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) to meet the aspirations of the principal franchised operator on this route (GNER) for an increase in the frequency of its London Leeds service.
Ian Yeowart, Managing Director of Grand Central, comments:
"The Meridian train has excellent reliability, and outperforms the ageing diesel and electric fleet currently used on ECML franchised services. We are well aware of capacity constraints on the ECML and are happy to work with Network Rail and the SRA to ensure that our service proposals do not conflict with those of other operators.
"Our new services will bring direct London trains to a population of more than two million people, who currently have no access to direct trains to London from their local station, and we expect the aspirations of this huge potential market to be reflected in decisions about capacity utilisation on the ECML."