Long-distance train operator CrossCountry have been awarded a new contract from the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue running passenger services across the country.
The new contract allows CrossCountry to continue running its long-distance and inter-regional services crossing England, Scotland and Wales. The new agreement also provides additional support and a range of benefits for CrossCountry to improve its current fleet.
The contract with National Rail will run for an initial four years, but could also run for an maximum term of eight years.
The agreement will enable CrossCountry to make a range of improvements including a full fleet refurbishment of both the Voyager and Turbostar fleet, which would be the first in 20 years and includes fitting CCTV and automatic passenger counting systems.
The fleet upgrade will be supported by new timetabling which will build on the updates made by CrossCountry in May. Part of these changes will see a new daily direct service between Cardiff and Edinburgh, strengthening connections across Great Britain.
Welcoming the DfT announcement, CrossCountry’s managing director, Tom Joyner, said, “This is great news for our customers and stakeholders and recognises the importance of our continuing to deliver long-distance business and leisure services across England, Scotland and Wales.
“Our trains connect towns and cities, people and communities across Great Britain, playing an essential role in people’s lives. We look forward to working closely with stakeholders to further improve the customer experience in the years to come.”
Passenger services offered by CrossCountry spread across the country, including the central, south west and east coast main lines.
David Brown, Arriva Group’s managing director of its UK Trains division commented: “This is great news for Arriva Group, our colleagues at CrossCountry and for customers of the railways. I’m proud of our long-standing reputation in the UK rail industry and our track record of successfully managing and delivering train services across the country.
“The Government’s confidence in Arriva will ensure we can deliver connectivity and more comfortable services, helping to ensure Britain’s rail system can grow and thrive long into the future.”
Photo Credit: iStock