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19 Sep 2023

Arriva Group awarded new national rail contract for CrossCountry

Arriva Group awarded new national rail contract for CrossCountry: Arriva UK Trains CrossCountry

  • New contract starts from October 15 for a core term of four years.
  • Timetable enhancements are expected and enhanced connectivity, including a new daily direct service between Cardiff and Edinburgh.
  • The new contract will see CrossCountry undertake a full fleet refurbishment.

London, September 19, 2023: Arriva Group’s CrossCountry train operating company has today been awarded a new contract by the Department for Transport (DfT) to continue operating services across the length and breadth of Great Britain, building on its 16-year reputation as a leading national operator.

The new contract starts Sunday October 15, with a guaranteed core term of four years. The news re-confirms Arriva’s position as a leading player in the UK rail market and will see CrossCountry introducing a range of customer improvements including a full fleet refurbishment of both the Voyager and Turbostar fleet – the first major refurbishment in 20 years. This will include fitting CCTV, Automatic Passenger Counting equipment on board, new carpets and LED lighting, all designed to provide a more comfortable experience for customers.  

Under the new contract, CrossCountry is also planning enhancements to its timetable, including a new daily direct service between Cardiff and Edinburgh.  The company will also explore the reintroduction of services between Cambridge and Stansted Airport, strengthening connections across Great Britain.

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”.

Cross Country offers services from Cornwall, the South Coast, the Midlands and South Wales to the north of England and central and north-east Scotland.  It connects seven out of 10 of the major cities in the UK and serves several university towns and regional airports.  The announcement today will ensure continuity for the 85,000 daily customers who have come to rely on the connections provided by CrossCountry.

The news also builds on Arriva’s strong reputation in UK rail and closely follows a two-year contract extension for Arriva Rail London to operate the London Overground concession on behalf of Transport for London. 

Arriva Group has extensive operating experience across long-distance, commuter, urban, inter-urban and regional train services, through its UK Trains division which includes Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, Grand Central and Arriva Rail London.  It is the only owning group to have experience with all contract types currently in use on Britain’s railway, including national rail contracts, a concessionary contract, an Open Access company under the Grand Central brand, and a rail maintenance business, Arriva Traincare.

Notes to editors:

  • The new contract will run for a minimum term of four years with a further four-year period, which could be reduced at the discretion of the Secretary of State.

About Arriva Group:

Arriva is a leading provider of passenger transport across Europe, employing around 35,500 people and delivering around 1.5 billion passenger journeys across 10 European countries. We are part of Deutsche Bahn (DB), one of the world’s leading passenger and logistics companies. With buses, trains, coaches, trams, waterbuses, bike-sharing systems, and on-demand transport solutions, Arriva proudly connects people and communities safely, reliably and sustainably, delivering these services in a better way, every day. The activities of Arriva are divided into four lines of business: UK Bus, UK Trains, The Netherlands and Mainland Europe. Arriva has operations in the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Notes to editors



Contact information

Arriva Group press office

Arriva UK Trains CrossCountry: Arriva UK Trains CrossCountry

Arriva UK Trains CrossCountry