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Research reveals coy travellers are missing out on meeting new people

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When asked what they'd do if someone caught their eye on board a train, just two per cent said they would give them their number or ask them out on a date. The majority (66%) would rather settle for merely making eye contact or flashing a smile.

The research from CrossCountry did however uncover some more amorous travellers who hadn't let the moment pass - 91 respondents said they had met their husband or wife whilst travelling by train and more than one in ten (14%) have ended up meeting for a date, becoming partners or remaining friends following an introduction on board.

When asked why they wouldn't start a conversation with a stranger on a train, thinking the other person wouldn't be interested and being too shy were two reasons cited by 30% of Brits. Yet a conversation with a stranger would be welcomed by over a third of people (37%).

Carol Blackburn, Partnerships Manager for CrossCountry said: "With CrossCountry calling at 121 stations across the UK there are so many opportunities to meet new people. We were contacted recently by a couple who had met on board a CrossCountry train and were celebrating a year together. Even if you're not looking for love, trains can be a great place to meet new people. Whilst we appreciate that not everyone wants to chat to a stranger, it may be worth returning that smile and introducing yourself next time you sit next to someone who catches your eye - you never know where it could lead."

Who's sharing the love?

  • Just over one in ten (10%) men would ask a question to start a conversation with someone who caught their eye on a train compared to only 4% of women
  • Almost a fifth (17%) of men have ended up going on a date, finding a partner or meeting a new friend, following a conversation on a train as opposed to just 12% of women
  • The older we get the more likely we are to enjoy a conversation with a stranger on a train with 45% of over 55s saying they'd be pleased to have a chat compared to under a third (30%) of 18-24s
  • The younger we are the more likely we are to ask someone on a date or give them our number, with 10% of 18-35s seizing the moment versus just 2% of over 45s.

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 part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more than 42,000 employees and operations across 12 European countries. The link to Arriva is The link to Deutsche Bahn is

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CrossCountry bookings - passengers can book any rail journey, with any train operator for anywhere in Britain with no booking fee through CrossCountry's website and also their free Train Tickets app. Visit your app store to download the CrossCountry app.

CrossCountry facts and figures

PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 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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