Franchise(s):Cross Country
11 November 2007 – 1 April 2016
Main route(s):
Fleet size:*10 Class 43s for 5 High Speed Train sets
  • 29 Class 170 Turbostars
  • 34 Class 220 Voyagers
  • 23 Class 221 Super Voyagers</td></tr>
  • Stations called at:100</td></tr>
    Stations operated:0</td></tr>
    Passenger km 2007/8:1136.6 million</td></tr>
    Route km operated:2661.9</td></tr>
    National Rail abbreviation:XC</td></tr>
    Parent company:Arriva, part of Deutsche Bahn</td></tr>

    </table> CrossCountry (sometimes known as Arriva CrossCountry) is the brand name of XC Trains Ltd., a British train operating company owned by Arriva. The company operates a network of express and long-distance train services between a variety of towns and cities outside London .

    Formation Edit

    The CrossCountry franchise was formed through the amalgamation of most of the former Cross Country franchise held by Virgin Trains with some of the longer-distance routes operated by Midlands-based Central Trains. On 10 July 2007, the Department for Transport announced that Arriva plc had won the rights to the franchise,[1] with the company taking control on 11 November 2007.

    Routes Edit

    The company operates a number of key inter-city routes outside London including the Cross Country Route from the North East to the South West, as well as a range of shorter-distance regional express services.

    Unlike most other franchise operators in Great Britain, CrossCountry does not manage any stations, even though there are certain stations served by no operator other than CrossCountry.

    See also: CrossCountry network map

    Core Edit

    The hourly service operates on each basic route:

    No Route Rolling stock
    1 Plymouth to Edinburgh Waverley (via Leeds & Newcastle Central) (Super) Voyagers & HSTs
    2 Reading to Newcastle Central (via Doncaster) (Super) Voyagers
    3 Bristol Temple Meads to Manchester Piccadilly (Super) Voyagers
    4 Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly (via Coventry) (Super) Voyagers
    5 Cardiff Central to Nottingham (via Birmingham New Street) Turbostars
    6 Birmingham New Street to Leicester and Stansted Airport Turbostars
    File:XC route map 2009.jpg


    There are extensions to the basic service pattern:

    On Summer Saturdays, there are trains to Newquay from various parts of the network.

    Frequency Edit

    File:220011 Newton Abbot.JPG

    Typically, during weekday daytimes, each of these six routes sees one CrossCountry train per hour, with the exception of Birmingham–Leicester and Birmingham–Nottingham (which each see two). These services combine to provide higher frequencies on the following sections:

    • Bristol to Cheltenham: 2 trains per hour
    • Cheltenham to Birmingham: 3 trains per hour
    • Reading to Leamington: 2 trains per hour
    • Birmingham to Derby: 4 trains per hour
    • Derby to Sheffield: 2 trains per hour
    • York to Newcastle: 2 trains per hour
    • Birmingham to Leicester: 2 trains per hour
    • Birmingham to Manchester: 2 trains per hour
    • Birmingham to Nottingham: 2 trains per hour

    Services withdrawn or transferred Edit

    All of the services operated via the West Coast Main Line by the previous Cross Country franchisee, Virgin Trains, passed to other operators: trains between Manchester and Scotland transferred to First Transpennine Express, while trains between Birmingham and Glasgow became part of an enlarged West Coast franchise operated by Virgin Trains.

    The tender for the franchise did not include retaining services south east of Guildford to Brighton and Gatwick Airport and all such services ceased on 13 December 2008. Passengers for Gatwick Airport now have to use connecting services from Reading.[2]

    Future services Edit

    Plans were included by CrossCountry to reopen the railway station at Kenilworth. In April 2008, it agreed with Warwickshire county council to draw up a business case.[3]

    There are proposals for a station at Worcester (Norton) Parkway, near the city of Worcester, currently bypassed by CrossCountry's trains. If this station is built, then it may be served by CrossCountry services.

    There are talks taking place that may see Cross Country services go through from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Carstairs, replacing the services currently provided by East Coast Trains.[4]

    Furthermore CrossCountry wishes to extend its Birmingham New Street to Leicester services to Cambridge.[5] It also has ambitions to increase frequency on its Bournemouth to Reading route to every 30 minutes by extending its Newcastle to Reading service to Bournemouth.[6]

    Stations served only by CrossCountry Edit

    CrossCountry does not manage any stations. Following stations are served only by CrossCountry but are managed by London Midland, East Midlands Trains or National Express East Anglia:

    Performance Edit

    File:CrossCountry Voyager at BHM.jpg

    Latest performance figures released by the ORR show a fall in punctuality this quarter with a PPM of 88.8%[7] and a Monthly Annual Average (MAA) up to 31 March 2010 of 90.1%.

    Criticism Edit

    Under the control of the previous franchisee, Virgin Trains, Cross Country services were increased in frequency, but using shorter trains. Intended to provide a more attractive service without reducing overall capacity, this strategy has left the company struggling to accommodate peak loads on popular services or the ongoing growth in passenger numbers.[8] It also led to the withdrawal of services from previously-served destinations such as Poole[9] as the company concentrated its rolling stock on its core network.

    The now defunct Strategic Rail Authority refused to underwrite the cost for Virgin Trains to order additional rolling stock. CrossCountry has since added five refurbished HST sets to its fleet. The removal of on-board shops to create additional luggage space has attracted criticism from passengers and MPs in the Westcountry. The removal of bays of seating around tables and the addition of more seats with reduced legroom has been criticised, after Arriva promised to increase the seating capacity of their trains, which was believedTemplate:By whom to refer to lengthening of the trains themselves.[10][11]

    CrossCountry was also criticised for introducing the first £1,000 fare in Britain in November 2009, for a first class return between Newquay and Kyle of Lochalsh.[12] A little over a year earlier, the same fare had cost under £500.[12] Commentators noted that CrossCountry were charging over £100 for the trip between Par and Newquay, even though the trains operating it have no first class compartments, and First Great Western, which operates the service, charges as little as £3.90 for a day's unlimited travel on the line.

    Rolling stock Edit

    Multiple unit fleet Edit

    Virgin CrossCountry previously operated the Class 220 and Class 221 DEMUs. Twenty one Class 221 units have been transferred to the Virgin West Coast franchise to operate the North Wales route and the West Midlands to Scotland services. CrossCountry also use Class 170 Turbostars inherited from Central Trains. Class 220s and 221s are undergoing refurbishment at Bombardier, Derby. This includes removing the shop and adding extra luggage space. The refurbishment was completed in August 2009.

    HST fleet Edit

    The first CrossCountry-liveried HST powercar was released from its overhaul at Brush Traction, Loughborough on 16 July 2008. To identify its fleet, CrossCountry is renumbering all of its HST units by adding an extra 200 to the old number, the newly repainted HST being 43301 (originally 43101). 43301 had to be completely rebuilt by Brush Traction, as it has been out of service for more than 5 years. As a standard, CrossCountry is installing MTU Friedrichshafen engines to replace the old Paxman Valenta ones, and is repainting the units into the two-tone CrossCountry livery of grey/silver and chocolate brown. At present 5 x Mark 3 TSO's (1 out of each HST set) are currently stored and 1 set (XC01) went on loan to East Coast for 2 Months between January and March 2010. From the December 2009 timetable change the number of weekday HST diagrams was reduced, from 4 to 2 (3 on Mondays/Fridays). All HST's are currently 2+7.

     Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Number   Built 
     mph   km/h 
    Class 43 High Speed Train 100px Diesel locomotive 125 200 10 1976–1982
    Mark 3 Coach 100px Passenger coach 125 200 40 1975–1988
    Class 170 Turbostar 100px Diesel multiple unit 100 160 29 1999–2002
    Class 220 Voyager 100px Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 34 2001
    Class 221 Super Voyager 100px Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 23 2001

    See also Edit

    References Edit

    External links Edit

    Template:Commons category

    Preceded by
    Central Trains
    Central franchise
    Operator of Cross Country franchise
    2007 - present
    Preceded by
    Virgin Trains
    Cross Country franchise