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“Great news”: New daily train service between Cardiff and Edinburgh announced

The Department for Transport (DfT) has awarded a new contract to long-distance train operator CrossCountry, which is part of the Arriva Group, to continue operating passenger services throughout Great Britain.

Under the new contract which commences on Sunday, 15 October 2023, CrossCountry will continue operating its long-distance and inter-regional services throughout England, Scotland and Wales. These services provide business and leisure customers connections to cities and towns across Great Britain.

As well as providing customers with the confidence to maintain a stable and sustainable service, a range of benefits are included in the new contract to improve customers’ travelling experience and benefit the communities the company’s trains serve.

Having secured the new contract, CrossCountry will now be able to introduce a range of customer improvements, which will include a full refurbishment of the complete Voyager and Turbostar fleets for their first major refurbishment in 20 years. These will include installing CCTV, new carpets and LED lighting which will tackle some customers’ long-standing complaints, and equipment to automatically count the number of passengers on board the trains.

Building on the changes made to the timetables in May this year, further enhancements will include a new direct service daily between Cardiff and Edinburgh to strengthen connections across Great Britain.

Welcoming the DfT announcement, CrossCountry’s Managing Director, Tom Joyner, said, “This is great news for our customers and stakeholders and recognises the importance of our continuing to deliver long-distance business and leisure services across England, Scotland and Wales.

“Our trains connect towns and cities, people and communities across Great Britain, playing an essential role in people’s lives. We look forward to working closely with stakeholders to further improve the customer experience in the years to come.”