CrossCountry capacity boost

CrossCountry is to increase capacity on its services, starting in May 2020, following £2.5 million of new government funding.

The first increase will be in May 2020 on CrossCountry’s Turbostar routes linking Birmingham to Nottingham, Leicester and Cardiff. A change in the maintenance arrangements with West Midlands Trains for CrossCountry’s Class 170s will allow more units to be in service.

In December 2020 CrossCountry plans to utilise additional HSTs to enable longer trains to operate some services on Mondays to Thursdays on routes from Scotland, the North East and Manchester to the South West and the South Coast. To enable the increase, two additional power cars will join CrossCountry’s fleet, with Voyagers released by the increased use of HSTs allowing other trains to be lengthened.

A further uplift in May 2021 will follow on the Turbostar routes. CrossCountry’s mixed fleet of two-car and three-car ‘170s’ will be bolstered by the addition of six centre vehicles; these are being displaced from the current West Midlands Trains fleet, which will be transferring to East Midlands Railway but as two-car sets, leaving centre vehicles spare.

Arriva’s current CrossCountry franchise runs until October 2020; the company has operated the franchise since 2007.