CrossCountry is a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Arriva UK Trains, operating the New Cross Country franchise. It operates many intercity and other long-distance trains in the UK which do not serve Greater London, including the UK's longest direct rail service from Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland to Penzance in Cornwall, in the south-west of England. It is one of only two franchised train operating companies that does not operate any stations, the other being the Caledonian Sleeper. All routes call or terminate at Birmingham New Street.
|Franchise(s)||New Cross Country
11 November 2007 - October 2019
|Main route(s)||West Midlands, East Midlands, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber and North East|
|Other route(s)||South East Wales, North West, East of England, South East and Scottish Lowlands|
|Stations called at||119|
|Route km operated||2,397.9|
|National Rail abbreviation||XC|
|Parent company||Arriva UK Trains|
In June 2006 the Department for Transport announced its intention to restructure a number of franchises. Included was a New Cross Country franchise that would incorporate the existing InterCity Cross Country franchise run by Virgin CrossCountry, less the West Coast Main Line services with the Birmingham to Scotland services transferring to Virgin West Coast and the Manchester to Scotland services transferring to First TransPennine Express. Some services from the Central Trains franchise were to be added.
In October 2006 the Department for Transport issued the Invitation to Tender to the shortlisted bidders, Arriva, First, National Express and Virgin Rail Group. On 10 July 2007 the Department for Transport announced that Arriva had won the New Cross Country franchise with the services operated by Virgin CrossCountry transferring to CrossCountry on 11 November 2007 along with the Cardiff to Nottingham and Birmingham to Stansted Airport services from Central Trains.
The company operates a number of key InterCity routes outside London including the Cross Country Route from the North East to the South West.
The hourly service operates on each basic route:
|1||Plymouth to Edinburgh Waverley/Glasgow Central (via Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds & Newcastle)||Voyagers & High Speed Trains|
|2||Reading to Newcastle Central (via Doncaster)||Voyagers|
|3||Bristol Temple Meads to Manchester Piccadilly (via Birmingham New Street and Stoke-on-Trent)||Voyagers|
|4||Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly (via Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent)||Voyagers|
|5||Cardiff Central to Nottingham (via University (Birmingham) and Derby)||Turbostars|
|6||Birmingham New Street to Nottingham (Stopping)||Turbostars|
|7||Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport (via Cambridge)||Turbostars|
|8||Birmingham New Street to Leicester (Stopping)||Turbostars|
There are extensions to the basic service pattern:
- to Penzance from Plymouth
- to Glasgow Central, Dundee and Aberdeen from Edinburgh Waverley
- to Cardiff Central, Paignton, Bath Spa, Exeter St Davids and Plymouth from Bristol Temple Meads
- to Guildford, Winchester, Southampton Central and Bournemouth from Reading
- there are trains to Newquay and Paignton from Manchester Piccadilly, Dundee, Glasgow Central, Newcastle Central and Edinburgh Waverley on summer Saturdays and Sundays, however the service from Piccadilly to Paignton operates several times a day throughout the year and not just on summer weekends.
- some Manchester trains operate via Crewe either in lieu of, or in addition to Stoke-on-Trent
Typically, during weekday daytimes, each of the eight routes runs one CrossCountry train per hour, with the exception of Birmingham to Nottingham. These services combine to provide higher frequencies on the following sections:
- Birmingham to Bristol: two trains per hour
- Birmingham to Leicester: two trains per hour
- Birmingham to Manchester: two trains per hour
- Birmingham to Newcastle: two trains per hour (of which one runs via Doncaster, and one via Leeds)
- Cheltenham to Birmingham: three trains per hour
- Reading to Birmingham: half-hourly
- Birmingham to Derby: four trains per hour
Service on Sundays is slightly different from the normal core routes. The routes on Sundays are:
- Plymouth to Newcastle via Doncaster (some extensions to Penzance and Edinburgh)
- Bristol to Manchester (some extensions to Paignton)
- Cardiff Central to Birmingham New Street (some extensions to Nottingham)
- Birmingham New Street to Nottingham
- Reading to Newcastle via Doncaster or Leeds (some extensions to Edinburgh, Guildford and Bournemouth)
- Birmingham New Street to Leicester/Stansted Airport
Services transferred or withdrawnEdit
After taking over the franchise, CrossCountry continued to operate the existing timetable including the West Coast Main Line services for four weeks. When the new timetable commenced on 9 December 2007, the Birmingham to Edinburgh and Glasgow services transferred to Virgin West Coast and the Manchester to Edinburgh and Glasgow services transferred to First TransPennine Express.
The tender did not require retention of the services beyond Guildford after December 2008, so the services to Gatwick Airport and Brighton ceased. As a result, all CrossCountry services now completely avoid Greater London.
CrossCountry extended some of its Bournemouth services to Weymouth for the Sailing at the 2012 Olympics & Paralympics. There were two services Monday to Saturday in each direction, with one in each direction on Sundays. These ran express to Weymouth from Bournemouth. One train also operated a Weymouth to Bournemouth return journey, calling at Wareham and Poole.
There is a proposal for a station at Worcester (Norton) Parkway where the Cross Country Route route intersects the Cotswold Line. If built, it will be on two levels, with the low level served by CrossCountry, and the high level by Great Western Railway.
CrossCountry's current consultation document proposes removing almost all services to the Paignton area in order to prioritise services between Exeter St Davids and Birmingham. 
Stations served only by CrossCountryEdit
CrossCountry does not manage any stations. The following stations are served only by CrossCountry but are managed by another train operating company:
|East Midlands Trains||London Midland|
The high-level platforms at Tamworth are served only by CrossCountry, but are not considered a separate station from the low-level platforms. The whole station is therefore managed by the main operator of the low-level platforms, which is London Midland.
Manea was only served by CrossCountry until 2013, when Greater Anglia started running 1 train every two hours at the station in addition to the CrossCountry services there.
Other route informationEdit
To try and create a more pleasurable travelling experience, CrossCountry has designated 4 stations as alternative changeover stations. Cheltenham Spa, Derby, Leamington Spa and Wolverhampton were selected. The aim here was to make connection times shorter - with the stations selected being much smaller. For example, meaning that passengers travelling from Cardiff to Edinburgh could change at Cheltenham Spa instead of Birmingham New Street reducing transfer times - at Cheltenham Spa both trains would arrive and depart from the same platform. This avoids having to change trains at Birmingham New Street, which is a larger, more complex station. These 4 stations are marked on the CrossCountry route map, in yellow.
Latest performance figures released by NR (Network Rail) for this period (period 7 of 2013/2014) report a PPM (Public Performance Measure) of 89.2% and a Moving Annual Average (MAA) up to 12 October 2013 of 87.4%. In early 2017 the paralympian Anne Wafula Strike complained that the company's failure to provide a working disabled accessible toilet had forced her to wet herself on a CrossCountry train.
CrossCountry services are operated using diesel trains only, since none of the routes it operates is fully electrified.
CrossCountry inherited 34 four-carriage Class 220 Voyagers and 40 five-carriage and 4 four-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers from Virgin CrossCountry as well as 11 two-carriage and 18 three-carriage Class 170 Turbostars from Central Trains.
A franchise commitment was the acquisition of ten Class 43 Power Cars and forty Mark 3 carriages. Midland Mainline had six Class 43 Power Cars and fourteen Mark 3 carriages that were off lease from November 2007 that were leased. The remaining four Class 43 Power Cars were ex Virgin CrossCountry examples in varying states of decay. while the carriages were five ex Virgin CrossCountry Mark 3 carriages and twenty-one ex Virgin West Coast loco hauled Mark 3B carriages. Most had been in store at Long Marston for a few years.
After driver training the ex Midland Mainline sets returned to service in May 2008 on Glasgow and Edinburgh to Plymouth diagrams while the other Class 43 Power Cars were overhauled at Brush Traction including repowering with MTU 16V4000R41 engines and the Mark 3 carriages overhauled at Wabtec, Doncaster to a similar specification as GNER's Mallard refurbishments. Once these were completed the ex Midland Mainline examples were also overhauled.
To operate services to Paignton and Newquay on Summer Saturdays two High Speed Trains were hired from National Express East Coast in 2008. High Speed Trains were hired from East Coast and East Midlands Trains on a number of occasions to operate services from Edinburgh Waverley to Plymouth when HSTs or Voyagers were unavailable
The Class 170 Turbostars were refurbished in 2008 with the three-carriage units repainted at Marcroft Engineering, Stoke on Trent, the two-carriage units at EWS' Toton depot and the interiors done by Transys Projects, Clacton-on-Sea including the fitting of first class seating to the Class 170/5s and 170/6s.
The tilt function on the Class 221 Super Voyagers was removed in 2008. It was no longer required as tilt was not required on the parts of West Coast Main Line that CrossCountry serve. CrossCountry says this change will improve the trains' reliability and reduce maintenance costs.
The Class 220 Voyagers and Class 221 Super Voyagers underwent refurbishment at Bombardier, Derby in 2008/09. This involved removing the shop, adding 25% extra luggage space and fourteen extra standard class seats to the Class 220 Voyagers and 20% extra luggage space and sixteen standard class seats to the Class 221 Super Voyagers. The interiors were given a refresh in 2011/12 with the standard class seats recovered in the existing red and blue moquette and first class done with a maroon moquette. In summer 2014, CrossCountry began removing the quiet coach designation from such vehicles in its Voyager sets, believing them to be outdated and take up an excessive amount of space on a four-car unit. It is retaining the quiet coaches on its five HST sets.
Refurbished Mark 3 First Class Carriage 45003
|Class 43 High Speed Train||Diesel locomotive||125||200||N/A||10||1976–1982|
|Mark 3 Carriage||Passenger carriage||125||200||40||1975–1988|
|Class 170 Turbostar||DMU||100||160||2||13||1999–2002|
|Class 220 Voyager||DEMU||125||200||4||34||2000-2001|
|Class 221 Super Voyager||DEMU||125||200||4||1||2001-2002|
The CrossCountry franchise will run until October 2019, with the Invitation to Tender issued in September 2018 and the contract awarded in July 2019.
- Companies House extract company no 4402048 XC Trains Limited
- New Cross Country Franchise Consultation Document Department for Transport June 2006
- New Cross Country Franchise Invitation to Tender Department for Transport October 2006
- New rail franchise to increase capacity between major cities Department for Transport Press Release 10 July 2007
- Arriva welcomes new CrossCountry rail franchise award Archived 20 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Arriva Press Release 10 July 2007
- "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers" Secretary of State for Transport statement 26 March 2013
- "Bristol and Manchester linked every two hours in CrossCountry's December timetable" (PDF) (Press release). CrossCountry. 12 December 2007.
- CrossCountry. "Frequently Asked Questions: How will the timetable change and when?". Archived from the original on 22 August 2008.
- 2008 The End is nigh! 1s76.com
- "New Southampton train services" (Press release). CrossCountry. 19 November 2010.
- "East Coast Welcomes Future New Timetable" (Press release). East Coast. 20 January 2010. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013.
- "London 2012 Olympic Games". CrossCountry. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Kenilworth Station stays on track". Warwickshire County Council. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 12 June 2008.
- "New county train station is a good idea, says Government". Worcester News. 1 August 2012.
- "CrossCountry Future Timetable Consultation" (PDF). Retrieved 22 December 2016.
- "Rail performance results period 7". Network Rail.
- "Paralympian forced to wet herself on train without accessible toilet". The Guardian. 2 January 2017. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
- Class 170 History Railway UK - UK Railway Information
- Rail Magazine Issue 575 26 September 2007 Page 16
- Ex Virgin HST Power Car List
- Rail Magazine Issue 586 27 February 2008 Page 62
- CrossCountry signs deal to overhaul High Speed Trains Archived 20 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Arriva Press Release 24 January 2008
- MTU fitted Class 43 HST powercars TheRailwayCentre.Com
- Deal signed to refurbish high speed train carriages CrossCountry Press Release 22 April 2008
- Project Profile HST trailer cars Archived 31 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Wabtec Rail
- CrossCountry Unveils First Refurbished HST CrossCountry Press Release 1 October 2008
- More CrossCountry seats for Holidaymakers CrossCountry Press Release 27 March 2008
- Refurbishment of Class 170 Turbostar trains begins CrossCountry Press Release 30 January 2008
- CrossCountry's first refurbished Turbostar enters service CrossCountry Press Release 19 May 2008
- Miles, Tony (August 2008). "CrossCountry stops tilting". Modern Railways. London. p. 71.
- Rail Magazine Issue 595 2 July 2008 Page 8
- Rail Magazine Issue 589 9 April 2008 Page 23
- Rail Magazine, Issue 755, 20 August 2014, pp. 60-61.
- "Rail franchise schedule" (PDF).
Media related to CrossCountry at Wikimedia Commons
Central Trains franchise
|Operator of New Cross Country franchise
2007 - present
InterCity CrossCountry franchise