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CrossCountry was awarded Gold and Silver at last week's annual 'Golden Spanner' ceremony organised by industry magazine Modern Railways. The Golden Spanner went to the Class 221 Super Voyagers for taking first place in the 'Modern DMU' category as the most reliable fleet in its class. The Super Voyagers also took the Silver Spanner for being the most improved fleet thanks to reliability being up 118% on last year. The 'Golden Spanner' is an awards scheme aimed at promoting excellence in train maintenance within Britain.

Sarah Kendall, Production Director at CrossCountry said: "We are extremely proud to win these nationally recognised awards. Since the start of our franchise in November 2007 the team at CrossCountry has worked very closely with Bombardier Transportation, our maintainer to take specific targeted steps to improve the reliability of our Voyager trains. Our focus now is to build on this significant progress and further improve our performance. Train reliability is vital for our customers and therefore of the highest priority for us."

All trains are ranked on the distance they cover between technical faults by the Association of Train Operating Companies' (ATOC) National Fleet Reliability Improvement Programme. Using this league table (see below) CrossCountry's Voyager trains outperformed all other intercity fleets across the country.

James Abbott, editor of Modern Railways magazine that organises the Golden Spanners Awards, commented: "Our congratulations go to the maintenance teams responsible for winning these awards. The real winners will be CrossCountry's customers, as more reliable trains means more reliable journeys for passengers."

CrossCountry operates a fleet of 57 Voyager and Super Voyager trains from Cornwall and the South Coast to Manchester, Newcastle and Scotland via Birmingham. The entire Voyager fleet was put through a refurbishment programme to provide extra seats and luggage space on all trains.

National Fleet Reliability Improvement Programme (Intercity fleets) - Source: ATOC
Train Operator Fleet Miles
CrossCountry Class 221 25,982
CrossCountry Class 220 25,275
East Coast IC225 23,890
East Midlands Trains Class 222 14,723
National Express East Anglia Electric-loco Trainset 14,121
Wrexham & Shropshire Diesel-loco Trainset 13,924
East Coast HST Set 13,337
Virgin Trains Class 390 12,727
East Midlands Trains HST Set 12,647
First Great Western HST Set 12,548
Virgin Trains Class 221 11,283
Grand Central Class 180 10,988
Grand Central HST Set 10,071
CrossCountry HST Set 9,118
Hull Trains Class 180 5,145

Intercity fleet reliability (mileage represents the distance covered per train between any five minute delay attributable to the fleet in the last year).

For more information please call the CrossCountry Press Office on 0121 2006115 or email

Notes to editors

CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to

CrossCountry is now on Facebook

Arriva is one of the largest private sector providers of passenger transport in Europe, employing more than 43,500 people (including share of associate companies) and providing more than one billion passenger journeys every year.

Arriva provides transport services including buses, trains, commuter coaches and water buses, and operates in 12 European countries: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

CrossCountry facts and figures:

WEEKDAY SERVICES: 293 (295 from 14 December)
PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 19 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

Select this link to view the Press Release PDF

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