CrossCountry will receive £2.5m in funding from the UK Government to introduce improved trains onto its network from May.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris announced the funding, which was agreed with the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to help CrossCountry tackle overcrowding on trains.

CrossCountry trains will include more than 20,000 extra seats each week on long-distance routes from the beginning of December.

Work has begun to improve rolling stock as it becomes available.

Heaton-Harris said: “Investing in transport is essential to levelling up the country, as we look to modernise our rail network and restructure the industry to put passengers at the heart of the railway.

“More seats mean more people can travel, increasing access to opportunities and better connecting our regions.”

CrossCountry will use the funding to expand its seat reservation service, allowing for reservations on most services. It will also improve communication and signage.

CrossCountry managing director Tom Joyner said: “We are delighted to now be able to get on and deliver these benefits for our customers with improvements to the journey experience and three new community groups to bring our train services closer to the places we serve.

“These improvements will deliver an immediate boost for rail users in the Midlands, with the promise of even more to come on other routes in the near future.”

Three recently established community rail partnerships (CRPs) for Worcestershire, the Heart of England and Bolton will also receive financial support. They will deliver initiatives to benefit local communities, stations and train services.

In September 2017, Alstom’s wholly owned subsidiary Nomad Digital secured a contract to provide Wi-Fi technology and other associated services to CrossCountry.