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Rolling stock options to be considered for CrossCountry routes

Reducing overcrowding will be a key priority for the CrossCountry franchise, according to Baroness Sugg, although she has offered no indication as to how this would be achieved.

She made the claim in a House of Lords Written Reply on October 22, having been asked by Lord Bradshaw (Liberal Democrat) what steps would be taken by Government to reduce overcrowding on the XC network now that bidding for the franchise has been cancelled (RAIL 861).

“Reducing overcrowding will be a key priority as we consider future options for the franchise,” said Sugg.

“The Department will consider rolling stock and train service options that will reduce overcrowding, but it is too early, at present, to say what the detail of that will be.”
It was confirmed in mid-October that the XC franchise currently operated by Arriva could be extended by five years (RAIL 864).

XC uses four-car and five-car Class 220/221s on long-distance services, as well as two-car and three-car Class 170s on inter-regional routes such as Cardiff-Nottingham and Birmingham New Street-Stansted Airport.

When Arriva took over the franchise in November 2007, it introduced five High Speed Trains to help tackle overcrowding on long-distance routes, although usually there are only three per day in traffic.

  • For more on the story, read RAIL 865, published on November 7, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from November 3.


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  • AndrewJG8918 - 29/10/2018 10:16

    They even got Class 43 HSTs which I think they should keep along with Mk3 carriages that have been refurbished with new electric plug doors. They could possibly take over the Liverpool Lime Street-Nottingham/Norwich route from East Midlands Trains and to introduce new services on the Crosscountry franchise such as Birmingham New Street-Norwich via Leicester and Peterborough/Ely. And maybe inherit few more Class 170 Turbostars from ScotRail. As some of the Ex-ScotRail Class 170s have been cascaded to Northern.

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  • Nova 3 - 29/10/2018 16:59

    The HSTs in XC and some from LNER (2x8 & 9) along with the Mk.4 Carriages/ DVT from LNER with the Class 68 Locos (1x9 & DVT) could go on the Penzance/Plymouth-Edinburgh Waverley/Aberdeen/Glasgow Central Route. The Class 220s could go on the Liverpool Lime Street-Nottingham/Norwich route along with the Cardiff Central-Nottingham. The Class 221s could go on the Southampton Central/Reading to Newcastle, Bristol Temple Meads and Bournemouth to Manchester Piccadilly Routes. And on the Penzance/Plymouth-Edinburgh Waverley and Aberdeen in double 10 car formation. And finally, The Class 170 could stick with the Birmingham New Street-Nottingham-Stansted Airport and Leicester routes.

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    • Geoff Kerr - 31/10/2018 20:25

      Maybe resurrect the idea of adding a pantograph car to the Voyagers, giving extra capacity and the ability to run off the OHLE. This would not though overcome the basic drawbacks of the Voyagers - cramped seating and small luggage racks caused by the redundant "tilt profile".

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    • BigTone - 31/10/2018 21:39

      What Cross Country needs is bimodes to cover the long distance routes. What amazes me is the milage under the wires running diesel. Whether complete units or mk4 sets with bimode locos (higher rated diesel engines) topping and tailing. After an internal cascade, let the Class 170s transfer away, the 2 car units are inadequate for the job

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