Birmingham-based long-distance train operating company CrossCountry is extending its fleet of Bombardier Voyager trains by five, on top of the seven announced in late 2023. 

These second-hand trains will be introduced to CrossCountry services beginning in June, as they are released by current user Avanti West Coast and refurbished. 

But despite the 12,000 seats the trains will provide in 2024, up to 36,000 per week in 2025, CrossCountry said it will still cut its timetable to “relieve crowding on some… long-distance services.” 

The trains will be leased from Beacon Rail, but CrossCountry refused to tell Railway Technology how much the deal was worth, or the length of the leasing period. 

“Our contract to acquire these 12 additional trains is the result of careful negotiations with our rolling stock leasing companies to bolster capacity on the busiest CrossCountry routes from this summer,” a spokesperson said. 

The TOC said the trains could have a lifespan of another 10 years, and despite environmental concerns over the diesel locomotives, explained this deal equated to the best value for customers. 

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“Class 220/221 Voyager trains retain another ten years of working lifespan, so acquiring additional Voyager trains from Avanti West Coast makes the most out of existing rolling stock agreements and assets whilst avoiding the environmental and financial costs associated with building new trains,” the spokesperson explained. 

“Based on constraints around budget, time and current rolling stock availability, as well as the cost of implementation to CrossCountry in training colleagues on a new fleet, acquiring additional Voyagers was considered to be the best option benefiting rail users from as soon as this summer,” they added.