11 November 2007 - 18 October 2020
|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|
CrossCountry (legal name XC Trains Limited) is a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Arriva UK Trains, operating the New Cross Country franchise. It operates intercity and other long-distance trains across the country, but does not serve Greater London. It operates the UK's longest direct rail service from Aberdeen in the north-east of Scotland to Penzance 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 Caledonian Sleeper. All services call at Birmingham New Street.
In June 2006 the Department for Transport announced its intention to restructure a number of franchises. The changes created a 'New Cross Country' franchise that would incorporate the existing InterCity Cross Country franchise run by Virgin CrossCountry, without the West Coast Main Line services (with the Birmingham to Scotland services transferring to Virgin Trains 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, FirstGroup, National Express and Virgin Rail Group. On 10 July 2007 the department 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.
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 Trains 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.
Originally due to conclude on 31 March 2016, the franchise was extended until December 2019. An Invitation to Tender was to be issued in October 2018 for the next franchise, but in September 2018 the competition was cancelled to allow the recommendations from a report into the franchise system to be incorporated. In July 2019 the Direct Award Franchise was further extended by a year (13 railway Reporting Periods), to end in October 2020. 
In November and December 2017, CrossCountry on-board train managers and senior conductors affiliated with the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) staged five 24-hour and two 48-hour strikes in an industrial dispute regarding staff rostering, in particular in relation to working on Sundays. Further strikes were planned for January 2018, however, these were cancelled after CrossCountry and the RMT came to an agreement over staff working conditions on 11 January.
Separate strike action was later threatened by the Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) union later that month, with strikes planned for 26 January. These were in relation to CrossCountry staff being offered a 1% pay rise, compared to a 3.3% pay rise for staff at other Arriva-owned train operating companies. The planned industrial action by the TSSA was later cancelled, after CrossCountry agreed to match their demands for an equal pay rise.
The company operates medium- and long-distance services that run outside of the London area. The network is centred at Birmingham, and all services either terminate at or pass through Birmingham New Street station. Services can be categorised into two types:
CrossCountry's official website does show a distinction between the two types of services (for example, each has a separate timetable booklet), but does not explicitly call them Inter-City and Regional.
|Plymouth to Edinburgh Waverley (and Glasgow Central)||1||Totnes, Newton Abbot, Exeter St Davids, Tiverton Parkway, Taunton, Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Tamworth (1tp2h),[a]Burton-on-Trent (1tp2h),[b]Derby, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Wakefield Westgate, Leeds, York, Darlington, Durham, Newcastle, Alnmouth (irregular),[c]Berwick-upon-Tweed (irregular),[d]and Dunbar (1tp2h);[b]|
1tp2h extended to/from Glasgow Central calling at Haymarket and Motherwell.
|(Southampton Central and) Reading to Newcastle||1||Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, Birmingham New Street, Derby, Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Darlington and Durham;|
1tp2h extended from/to Southampton Central calling at Southampton Airport Parkway, Winchester, Basingstoke, Reading, then as above.
|Bristol Temple Meads (and Cardiff Central) to Manchester Piccadilly||1||Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, and Stockport; some trains continue further than Bristol.|
|Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly||1||Brockenhurst, Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Winchester, Basingstoke, Reading, Oxford, Banbury, Leamington Spa, sometimes Solihull, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Stockport|
|Cardiff Central to Nottingham||1||Newport, Chepstow (~2tp3h) or Lydney (~1tp3h), Gloucester, Cheltenham Spa, Ashchurch for Tewkesbury (irregular), University, Birmingham New Street, Wilnecote (Nottingham-bound only), Tamworth, Burton-on-Trent, Willington (limited), Derby, Long Eaton, Beeston|
|Birmingham New Street to Nottingham||1||Wilnecote (Birmingham-bound only), Tamworth, Burton-on-Trent, Derby|
|Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport||1||Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton, Leicester, Melton Mowbray, Oakham, Stamford, Peterborough, March, Ely, Cambridge, Audley End|
|Birmingham New Street to Leicester||1||Water Orton (1tp2h),[e] Coleshill Parkway, Nuneaton, Hinckley, Narborough, South Wigston (1tp2h)[e]|
These services combine to provide higher frequencies on the following sections:
The Sunday service pattern is mostly similar to the weekday one, except that the hourly Birmingham - Nottingham services do not run while the other services do not start until late morning or early afternoon, and often have a slightly different stopping pattern.
The above table shows the basic service pattern; however, a small number of these services are extended beyond their usual destination:
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.
In December 2016, CrossCountry published a consultation document for changes to the timetable proposed to be implemented in December 2017. These included:
To allow these changes to take place, all CrossCountry services on some routes (which had a limited service) would be withdrawn and replaced with extra services run by other operators. These included:
In April 2017, it was announced the proposed changes would not be proceeding.
CrossCountry does not manage any stations. The following stations are served only by CrossCountry but are managed by other train operating companies:
|East Midlands Railway||West Midlands Trains|
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, West Midlands Trains.
Worcestershire Parkway Regional Interchange is currently under construction where the Cross Country Route intersects the Cotswold Line. It is being built on two levels, with the low level to be served by CrossCountry, and the high level by Great Western Railway. It is scheduled to open in January 2020.
To improve the travelling experience, CrossCountry has designated four stations as alternative changeover stations: these are Cheltenham Spa, Derby, Leamington Spa and Wolverhampton. Connection times can be shorter at these smaller stations. For example, passengers travelling from Cardiff to Edinburgh could change at Cheltenham - where both their trains use the same platform - instead of Birmingham New Street, a larger, more complex station. These four stations are marked on the CrossCountry route map in yellow.
This section needs to be updated.November 2017)(
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 are fully electrified.
CrossCountry inherited 34 four-car Class 220 Voyagers and 40 five-car and 4 four-car Class 221 Super Voyagers from Virgin CrossCountry as well as 11 two-car and 18 three-car 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 Trains 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 Doncaster Works 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, as tilt was not required on the parts of West Coast Main Line that CrossCountry serves. CrossCountry said this would improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs.
The Class 220 Voyagers and Class 221 Super Voyagers underwent refurbishment at Bombardier Transportation's Derby Litchurch Lane Works 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 re-covered 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 to take up an excessive amount of space on a four-car unit. It is retaining the quiet coaches on its five HST sets.
As part of its franchise extension, in November 2017 two former Virgin Trains Class 221 Super Voyager driving cars of 221144 that had been in store at Central Rivers TMD for several years were reactivated, with two five-car sets releasing a centre carriage to allow an additional four-car set to be formed.
Refurbished Mark 3 First Class Carriage 45003
|43||Diesel locomotive||125||200||2 + 7||10||1976-1982|
|Mark 3||Passenger carriage||40||1975-1988|
|221 Super Voyager||125||200||4||4||2001-2002|
Media related to CrossCountry at Wikimedia Commons