Railways to our Core
At Grand Union we are passionate about Britain’s railways. We are committed to the traditional values of providing a high-quality customer service and comfortable journey experiences at a fair price.
Grand Union has been founded with the primary aim of providing a new customer-focused standard of train service, which challenges and changes the current passenger experience. By providing greater passenger choice through competition with existing franchise holders, new journey opportunities that in turn deliver wider economic benefits, and value for money for rail users and taxpayers, we are confident we can achieve this.
As an independent company, Grand Union submitted its application to the Office of Rail and Road for a passenger track access agreement in June 2019, requesting to operate a service on the Cardiff to London route. In July 2019, Grand Union resubmitted its application, proposing an extended service from Cardiff Central to Llanelli.
Our people are railway people to the core. Steeped in the history and traditional values of the railways, our founders bring over 100 years of experience on British railways to this project. They have been at the cutting edge of change throughout their careers and are passionate about creating a service that reflects traditional railway values while meeting the demands of 21st century passengers.
Ian Yeowart has been in the forefront of delivering improved rail services for passengers during his time with British Rail, and within the privatised system by delivering new competitive rail services through ‘open access’.
Ian founded and developed Grand Central in 1999, which operates new and competitive rail services from Sunderland and along the East Coast through York, and from West Yorkshire through Doncaster to London King’s Cross. Ian also founded Alliance Rail Holdings in 2009, whose GNWR services were given permission in 2018 to operate from Blackpool to London Euston along the West Coast.
Ian now leads Grand Union Trains, which is seeking to introduce new and competitive train services between Cardiff and London Paddington, providing passengers with choice of operator and increasing service provision on this important route in line with the aspirations of the Welsh Government.
Director of Marketing and Development
David’s 45 years’ of experience in the railway sector has given him a wide range of knowledge through operations, commercial, marketing and business management, planning, project development and government.
He has been in at the start of many of the fundamental changes to the railway including: BR Business Management – Freight and Regional Railways, British Rail privatisation, the first ScotRail franchise and the creation of Transport Scotland.
He was one of the key players in the development of Regional Railways in the 1980s and 90s, with the huge change in rolling stock and services, which laid the foundations for the current highly successful operations, such as TransPennine. With ScotRail and Transport Scotland he has been a major contributor to the renaissance of Scotland’s Railways, developing policy, and delivering new services, stations and routes.
Being part of Grand Union provides an opportunity to bring all the experience of a lifetime in railways to deliver class leading, top quality, innovative train services.