Grand Central apologises to passengers from Sunderland and Hartlepool after rail services cancelled due to shortage of drivers

Rail firm Grand Central has apologised to passengers after a number of services were cancelled including due to a lack of drivers.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 1:05 pm
A Grand Central train. Photo: Grand Central

A number of services between Sunderland and London Kings Cross, which stops at Hartlepool, have been cancelled recently causing disruption to hundreds of passengers’ journeys.

Many passengers only learned of the cancellations after arriving at stations.

A shortage of drivers has been given as a reason for some of the cancellations with passengers having to travel on overcrowded trains run by other services.

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A notice of alternative arrangements following the cancellation of the 08.42am Grand Central service from London Kings Cross to Sunderland.

On Friday, December 6, the 08.42am from Sunderland to London Kings Cross was cancelled.

Passengers travelling from Hartlepool had to change at Thornaby and York to reach their destinations.

And on Saturday, December 7, the 08.06am London Kings Cross to Sunderland service was cancelled.

A shortage of drivers was given as the reason for both cancellations.

Frustrated passengers expressed their anger on social media.

One said on Twitter: “This was the first time I have used your service and it will be the last! I only found out about the cancellation when I arrived at Kings Cross.

“Have you only got one driver?”

Another tweeted: “GRAND CANCEL AGAIN..... such an awful service WHY??”

Another passenger said: “Cancel, cancel, cancel. They ruined last weekend for us. Cancelled Saturday train, Taxi to Darlington for the LNER, £44.00, standing only to Peterboro. “The return journey, cancelled the train before n after ours, packed in like sardines, stood bolt upright for 3.5 hrs. £220.00.”

One man said: “What's the excuse today? More trains than usual needing repair or lack of drivers/train crew?”

Another said: "PATHETIC. Don’t know why they bother calling themselves a train service."

A Grand Central spokesperson said: “We are truly sorry to customers affected by the recent service cancellations which occurred as a result of operational issues and a variety of incidents along our route.

“We understand the frustration and inconvenience caused when trains do not run as planned.

“Delay compensation is available for customers who were delayed in reaching their destination by 60 minutes or more – please visit our website at www.grandcentralrail.com for further details and our compensation form.”