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GRAND Central says it is on the right track, despite running up an £8.4million loss last year.

The firm says the number of passengers using its service between Sunderland and King’s Cross is on the rise.

“While results for the last financial year are disappointing the signs so far for this financial year are much more encouraging,” said a spokesman.

“During the period April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011, passenger revenue was adversely affected by the challenging economic conditions and the prolonged adverse winter weather conditions.

“There were also some sizable one-off payments including one that resulted from the rail industry’s income allocation process.

“So far this year, our passenger revenue is on budget. Grand Central’s investors and shareholders remain committed to the business.”