Who has traveled with Grand Central between Bradford and London?

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AndyBoo

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Who has traveled with Grand Central between Bradford and London?

I have an interview next week for an on-board job with Grand Central, I just wondered if anybody can tell me about the on-board experience you had whilst traveling. What do the on-board staff deliver? and how good would you say customer service standards are like? and finally, how would you compare the Grand Central experience with other operators, such as Virgin or East Coast?

Thanks for reading guys, hope I get some good feed back.
 
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Bridge189

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Who has traveled with Grand Central between Bradford and London?

I have an interview next week for an on-board job with Grand Central, I just wondered if anybody can tell me about the on-board experience you had whilst traveling. What do the on-board staff deliver? and how good would you say customer service standards are like? and finally, how would you compare the Grand Central experience with other operators, such as Virgin or East Coast?

Thanks for reading guys, hope I get some good feed back.

Hi,

GCs catering by all accounts is basic but adequate. I would say its more comparable to XCs over the likes of VT/FGW/ECML ect only it's a buffet instead of the trolley and they use china in 1st. I think there's only 2 catering staff onboard.
 

johnnychips

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Went Donny to Kings Cross 1st Class once and back. Staff member seemed like he really wanted to be helpful with the free coffee, water, biscuits and papers; and was.
 

Aictos

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I've done Kings Cross to Sunderland and return, Doncaster to Bradford Interchange and two Kings Cross to York journeys - each time I've found the staff were more then happy to provide the best service they could even on the Doncaster to Bradford Interchange trip.
 

DarloRich

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Hi,

GCs catering by all accounts is basic but adequate. I would say its more comparable to XCs over the likes of VT/FGW/ECML ect only it's a buffet instead of the trolley and they use china in 1st. I think there's only 2 catering staff onboard.

what on earth are you talking about? Same level as XC - give your head a shake. :roll:

The catering is great. The tea is cheap and nice, they do a good breakfast buttie and the sandwich selection is decent. Everything is of a price that doesn't have your eyes out for a brew and a kit kat!

Why would you want something off a trolley? You walk to the buffet and the food they produce is, you know, hot not tepid. It is a good service and of a quality that could put some of those TOCs suggested to shame. (The tea is better on EC mind!)

Yes; they don't offer a full silver service a la carte menu with extensive wine list served at your seat by nubile hostesses but it does the job and offer great value
 

MidnightFlyer

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I've only been on GC twice: my only experience of their catering was in the first trip, between Northallerton and York (after something at the Wensleydale Railway nearby). I went to get two coffees from the buffet, was served them in the normal cardboard cups, and then informed there was no bags to take them in. I said it was no problem, I'd carry them, but it was only when I set off that I realised that there was no protective wrapper, and I was holding boiling hot water through a thin sheet of paper, so I literally legged it down a HST carriage without spilling the cup's contents quick enough so that I wouldn't burn my hand off. The damage wasn't too bad and the coffee was nice, I was able to hold a pen normally after about half an hour's recovery!

Can't fault the staff though, both times I've been with them they've be pleasant.
 

Sapphire Blue

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what on earth are you talking about? Same level as XC - give your head a shake. :roll:

The catering is great. The tea is cheap and nice, they do a good breakfast buttie and the sandwich selection is decent. Everything is of a price that doesn't have your eyes out for a brew and a kit kat!

Why would you want something off a trolley? You walk to the buffet and the food they produce is, you know, hot not tepid. It is a good service and of a quality that could put some of those TOCs suggested to shame. (The tea is better on EC mind!)

Yes; they don't offer a full silver service a la carte menu with extensive wine list served at your seat by nubile hostesses but it does the job and offer great value

Here's hoping that the OP is one of these then!
 

AndyBoo

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this is all great news, ill be taking some of these comments and using it for my prep. lets hope i get the usual question "what do you know about the company?" lol.

between wikipedia, their own site, ATOC and all of you guys I cant fail to be prepared.

Thanks again.
 

Johnny Lewis

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I've travelled a couple of times between Bradford and London and between Sunderland and York, and have always found the First Class service to be very good. Particularly on the Sunderland route, when I did actually make a posting about the really excellent stewardess, and was shot down in flames when I compared it unfavourably to East Coast's offering.

However, I think when one's expectation of what is "free" is lowered, then the overall service provided seems to be better, as one is then not disappointed if the promised complimentary service fails to materialise. Although, as I write, I have just enjoyed East Coast's complimentary cooked breakfast - which, due it being actually cooked by a chef, rather than just plated up and microwaved, was actually rather good this morning - I still preferred the GNER/NX option of being able to choose whether or not I wanted to eat breakfast and then pay for it.

This comment probably now is veering towards belonging in the "unpopular opinions" thread, but I firmly believe that First Class complimentaries should be restricted to hot/soft/alcoholic drinks and nibbles only, with a more substantial (and therefore better quality) product being made available to ANYONE (First Class or Standard) that is willing to pay for it; obviously, First Class customers should be given priority, but, in InterCity days, this was always the case anyway.

Anyway, back to the original thread - best of luck to you AndyBoo in your interview on Wednesday - I'm sure you'll report back and let people know how you got on!
 

4SRKT

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I use GC between Bradford and London not because of the catering (which I don't use on any TOC), or First Class (which I don't use on any TOC), but because it's reasonably priced even at short notice. I think this is the most keenly felt advantage from relatively deprived places such as Bradford and Halifax. It is the only way (apart from using EMT on the 06:34 from Leeds) that I can get into London before 10:30 without breaking the bank or booking at least a couple of months in advance. The interior of the 180s is very nice, even in second class, although the main competition (EC) also has very nice trains. The staff are always friendly and enthusiastic, although one female guard from the North East did used to take a very dim view of enthusiasts leaning out of windows in the last days of the Valenta engined HST power cars! ;) Coradia stock generally is about the nicest modern MU stock there is in terms of comfort, spaciousness and visibility. Certainly kicks a Voyager or a Pendolino into touch, although Meridians come close.

Essentially the service is good and well-priced. If the stop at Pontefract could be removed timings to/from Bradford would be as good as EC and to/from Halifax much better. The lack of a train back north from the Cross in the evening before 19:48 is an issue though. Given that it is much easier to get EC advances on northbound runs the the evening than on southbound runs in the morning, my move is always GC south and EC north, and I doubt I'm alone in this.
 
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Crossover

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Been on a couple of journeys with them now. The first was just a journey - Pontefract to Bradford - and I didn't actually see any staff members at all in that time.

The second was supposed to be Kings Cross to Mirfield, but we only made it as far as Grantham due to a track defect, and our service was cancelled. I mentioned it on here at the time, the staff were very helpful throughout, trying to get information to us and the guard walked through the train to answer any questions people may have. One of the staff members travelled passenger right through to Leeds (before heading on to Bradford via alternative means) and was helping some passengers even when we got to Leeds. All in all, very good :)
 

LexyBoy

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I had got myself quite excited about taking my first trip with GC when I discovered they had just started calling at Mirfield - not only would I get to travel with GC, but it would actually be really convenient for me!

Unfortunately the train never turned up :(
 

D841 Roebuck

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Comfortable, pleasant and civilized with helpful, attentive staff. (Based on one 180 Brighouse to KX and an HST York to Sunderland.)

As and when pendolini and Voyageurs need a refresh, can whoever was in charge of the 180's interior design be given the job.
 

spionkop64

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Now that their early teething problems are hopefully behind them on the Bradford route GC are excellent. Trains are clean and staff friendly. I always feel more relaxed on GC than EC and I think that is down to the staff. The only downsides are the journey time due to the route via Pontefract and potential reliability issues posed by a small train fleet. They even gave a Network Rail pilotman a cuppa during the recent flooding problems, now that is customer service with a twist!
 

Welshman

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Although I no longer live in Halifax, I made a nostalgic journey from Halifax to London KX with them a while ago, and was much impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the staff.
It was a nostalgic journey - the last time I travelled direct from Halifax to London was to university in the mid 1960s, when the one through train of the day was a three-carriage portion of a Bradford Exchange/Leeds Central-London King's Cross train.
Worked by a Fairburn tank, it left Halifax at 9.12am, reversed in platform 1 at Huddersfield and worked to Wakefield Kirkgate. The tank then changed ends again and dragged it up to Westgate, through the station and into the siding on the up side, from whence it propelled its coaches on to the rear of the Leeds-London train when it arrived. So even then, it was also a slow journey for the first hour or so!
Incidentally, I read on another forum, that GC actually used one of its HSTs on a Bradford service recently, and the set worked throughout, via its booked route. I would have liked to have been on that.
 

s'land

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How has Grand Central been doing recently on both routes? There seems to be less chat about them lately. Has being owned by Arriva made any difference to day to day operations or ambitions for the future?
 
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