A NORTH-EAST based train operator has announced further details of a number of station investment schemes.

A raft of schemes are now underway at stations along Grand Central’s North-East and West Riding routes – part of the company’s ongoing investment to enhance customer experience on board, online and at stations.

The improvements, which are due to be completed in early 2020, will see a revamp of the station facilities in Sunderland, Hartlepool, Eaglescliffe and Thirsk, as well as Bradford Interchange, Brighouse, Mirfield and Wakefield Kirkgate.

They will make the stations more welcoming and comfortable for customers travelling to and from these destinations.

The station investment programme includes a cosmetic refresh of the main concourse at Sunderland, with significant visual improvements including new decoration and signage, alongside new staff accommodation providing a greater level of Grand Central presence within the station.

Hartlepool station is getting a new customer lounge, providing wireless charging points alongside significantly improved seating space with breakfast bar style workstations.

At Eaglescliffe, there will be a new first class lounge and standard class waiting room. The facility will provide a range of charging options for passengers alongside improved waiting facilities and workstation areas. The waiting room will make use of solar panels and rainwater harvesting.

Thirsk will see a car park expansion scheme, taking the total number of parking spaces to 73 plus an additional five disabled spaces. Improved lighting and drainage are also planned, as well as passive provision for electric vehicle charging points.

The announcement comes following the completion of Grand Central’s £9million refurbishment programme to upgrade its Adelante fleet.

The company has also recently been granted access rights by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to operate an additional daily return service between Sunderland and London Kings Cross until at least 2021, and new services between Blackpool and London Euston until 2026.

Sean English, chief operating officer at Grand Central, said: “We are delighted to announce further details of this phase of our major investment programme to improve the station facilities along our routes. It reinforces our commitment to investing in the communities we serve and enhancing facilities for the benefit of current and future customers.

“It is hugely important to us that our customers enjoy the best possible experience when travelling with Grand Central and that starts at the station. We have listened to our customers and taken on board what they have asked for. Ultimately, we want to look after them at every stage of their journey, offering modern, inviting and accessible facilities at the stations along our routes. It’s about creating spaces that people in communities can enjoy and feel proud of and breathing new life into previously unused areas.

“We are looking forward to the completion of the projects and can’t wait for people passing through the stations to experience the benefits for themselves and come back time and time again.”

The station renovations are being delivered in partnership with JMD Developments. The work is being carried out with as little disruption to passengers as possible.

To find out more about Grand Central, visit www.grandcentralrail.com, or follow the railway company on Twitter @GC_Rail, Facebook or LinkedIn.