The franchisee CrossCountry, which is owned by Arriva, has signed a three-year agreement with the Department for Transport to bring the franchise in line with the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements (ERMAs).
This new contract will begin on Sunday, 18 September and run until October 2023.
Thanks to this agreement, CrossCountry will be able to continue running its long-distance and inter-regional services in Britain despite collapsed passenger numbers caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
A CrossCountry Bombardier Super Voyager, Class 221, in Manchester
One element of this new contract is a focus on reducing the environmental impact of the operator’s diesel fleet. For instance, Arriva CrossCountry will do a trial of using electrical shore supplies on its Bombardier Turbostar fleet when these trains are in depots for cleaning. Trains are cleaned both in the winter and at night, which means that the interior lighting and heating systems have to be powered. By using electricity to power these systems instead of the trains’ diesel engines, there will be a reduction in both emissions and noise pollution, which is doubly important when the depots are near built-up areas.
The other environmental trial is for the use of on-train batteries when the Bombardier Voyager fleet enters and leaves stations. The DfT is working with the fleet’s owner, Beacon Rail, to trial these. The use of these batteries will cut down air pollution where people are most likely to breathe in harmful fumes.