Train operator Grand Central is applying to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for permission to increase the frequency of its daily services to the North East and West Yorkshire from London.

The operator, which is part of the Arriva Group, said it has been consulting with other train companies and Network Rail to outline its options for running additional daily services on the routes. It has previously applied to run the additional services, but the plan was rejected by the ORR last year.

If approved, Grand Central would add one extra service to the Sunderland to London Kings Cross route, bringing it to six trains per day, while the Bradford Interchange route would increase to six trains a day from the current four. The operator says this would add 1,600 seats to or from London.

The Sunderland train would depart for London in the current mid-morning gap in services and return mid-afternoon. The Bradford service would depart late afternoon, while an early morning Wakefield Kirkgate train would arrive in London before 0730. Meanwhile, a late, ten-carriage train would depart London before 2200 and split at Doncaster, with one part of the train returning to Wakefield and the rest of the carriages continuing on to York.

Additionally, Grand Central wants to call at Peterborough in the early morning and late evening on its West Yorkshire services, as well as on two of its North East trains. It claims the stop would give passengers travelling between Peterborough and London more choice.

Grand Central says the extra services would be operated by its Adelante fleet, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Richard McClean, managing director of Grand Central, said: “The proposed additional services are an important part of Grand Central’s longer term strategic development, building on the strong growth we have seen on our existing routes.

“We believe that expanding our operations will benefit both our existing and potential new passengers, as well as grow existing markets.

“The proposed services are essential to encouraging competition in the rail market and to connecting communities and businesses.”

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