Arriva’s CrossCountry franchise will now end in October 2019.
The deal was announced on September 29. Arriva will pay Government a £163 million premium to operate the franchise from now through to the end of the deal.
Arriva took over XC from Virgin in 2007. The deal had been due to end in March 2016, but in March 2013 a 43-month extension was confirmed.
No new trains will be added to the fleet, but the Government has announced 39,000 more seats per year along the Edinburgh-Plymouth route. This equates to 148.5 seats per weekday, if there are no increases at weekends. That’s the equivalent of fewer than two Mk 3 Standard Open coaches fitted with disabled toilets. The increase is expected to come via reconfigured interiors.
- For much more on this deal, read RAIL 811, published on October 12.