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Chloe Shakesby

Arriva wins contract to retain cross-country services until 2023

A new contract between the government and a rail company has ensured the continuation of long-distance services across the country.

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris has announced today that Arriva CrossCountry, which has run the UK’s long-distance rail service since 2007, will continue to operate the franchise for 3 more years until October 2023.

The government has said that this will provide certainty for passengers and staff as the future direction of rail reform takes shape.

The contract also has a renewed focus on tackling environmental impacts, with Arriva CrossCountry trialing the use of electrical shore supplies when their Turbostar fleet are in depots for cleaning, which will reduce the use of diesel engines.

Chris Heaton-Harris, rail minister, commented: “This agreement ensures that vital train services will continue across the UK’s most extensive rail network, as the country continues to fight and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The deal announced today reaffirms our commitment to ending the complicated franchise system and is focused on the best interests of passengers, delivering better services and helping create a new kind of railway.

“With a real focus on boosting capacity and seizing the opportunity to create more environmentally sustainable services, this new contract will benefit passengers in the long term, improving their experience when travelling on our railways.”

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