Grand Central rail services between Sunderland, Teesside and London to be suspended during second national lockdown

A Grand Central train Credit: PA

Rail Operator Grand Central has confirmed that it is suspending all services from 7 November.

Managing Director Richard McClean said it had reached the "tough but necessary" decision to remove services with people being advised to stay at home.

Customers with tickets to travel between 7 November and 2 December can claim a full refund or change their ticket to a later date. 

Tickets remain on sale for trains departing from 3 December onwards.

In a statement of its website, the operator said:

"After careful weighing-up of our options and following discussions with the Department for Transport and trade union representatives, it’s clear that the difficult but necessary measure of taking a short period of hibernation is our only course of action.

"Grand Central’s open-access business model means, unlike most train operators, we rely exclusively on income from ticket sales, with no subsidy from Government. The new lockdown will bring an inevitable fall in passenger numbers, meaning it is not possible to continue operating during this period."

The operator has also confirmed that some staff will be furloughed.