Long-distance train operator CrossCountry, part of the Arriva Group, has welcomed the announcement by the Department for Transport (DfT) that it had been awarded a new contract to run from York to Birmingham, Bristol and the South West.
The company says the new contract includes a range of benefits to improve their travelling experience and benefit the communities CrossCountry’s trains serve.
A new link to Cardiff is part of the planned changes.
The agreement will enable CrossCountry to do a full fleet refurbishment of both the Voyager and Turbostar class trains – the first major refurbishment in 20 years.
This will include fitting CCTV, Automatic Passenger Counting equipment on board, new carpets and LED lighting.
It comes in the week that they have finally stopped running InterCity 125 (HST) trains on the core route through York. The move ordered by the DfT has been criticised because there are no replacement trains for them.
There will also be further enhancements to the timetable, building on the company’s May 2023 changes.
This includes a new daily direct service between Cardiff and Edinburgh.
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.”
The new contract commences on Sunday 15 October 2023.