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Last Updated: Monday, 23 January 2006, 07:35 GMT
Legal row looming over rail plans
Grand Central train
Grand Central says its trains could run without public money
A legal battle is looming over a rail firm's plans to launch new services between Yorkshire and London.

Rail regulators are considering plans by Grand Central to run trains on the East Coast Main Line in competition with existing operator GNER.

It plans direct services to the capital from York, Bradford and Halifax.

It says it will consider legal action if it does not get what it wants, while GNER says it will also go to court if a decision goes against it.

GNER argues that it needs the available extra capacity to run a further 12 daily services between Leeds and London, which it promised in its successful franchise agreement last year.

Grand Central said new services can be operated on a commercial basis without government subsidy.

The matter is being raised at a meeting of the Rail Regulators Board on Monday, although a decision could be deferred until later this week.

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