Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Travel advice and guidance - please visit here for more information

 

Timetable updates - please visit here for more information

 

Keeping you safe - latest travel advice

Page last updated: 06 April 2021

Travel Guidance

If you are travelling by train, travel with confidence.

This page outlines what we are doing on-board to keep you safe during your journey and the travel guidelines to help you through your journey with us. If you have booked a ticket and no longer wish to travel you may be eligible for a refund, please see our FAQs for more information. For the latest information on national restrictions, please visit the government website for England, Scotland and Wales.

Learn about the railway's safer travel pledge on the National Rail website here

Our Student Hub allows you to find travel information on one page to ensure that you can both book and travel with confidence. 

Your safety is our number one priority.

Here, you can find out all the information you need for your upcoming journey including; how to book and reserve your seat, travel guidelines, what we are doing to keep you safe on-board and much, more.

 

 

We are ‘Good to Go’ accredited. This means that we’re adhering to Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and have the processes in place to maintain cleanliness on-board and aid social distancing.

Looking for timetable information?

We are running a reduced service and you can find information on our latest timetables here.

Planning to make a journey by train?

  1. CHECK BEFORE YOU TRAVEL - Please check government guidance and restrictions before you plan your journey. You can visit the government website here for more information.
  2. DO NOT TRAVEL – If you have symptoms of coronavirus. Please refer to the latest NHS guidance on symptoms here before you travel.
  3. ALLOW EXTRA TIME FOR TRAVEL – Please leave in plenty of time before your train departure. There may be one way systems and queues at stations that may add time to your journey.
  4. RESERVE A SEATPlease book your seat reservation before you travel with CrossCountry. If you do not book a reservation you may not be able to travel. For more information on how to reserve your seat please see here.
  5. WEAR A FACE COVERING – It is mandatory to wear a face covering when passing through a railway station and when travelling on our services, unless you are exempt* £6,400 maximum fines are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. See our FAQs for more information
  6. KEEP YOUR DISTANCE – We have installed signage on-board as a reminder to you and others around you to 'stay safe & stay apart'. We have also strengthened some of our services by adding additional carriages to some of our trains to support additional demand over the coming weeks. For more information, please see our FAQs.
  7. WASH YOUR HANDS – Please wash your hands before and after travelling.
  8. ALERT ME BY MESSENGER - Sign up for the National Rail Enquiries Alert Me by Messenger service to be notified if your train or station is expected to be busy. Click here for more information.

*Some people may not be able to wear a face covering, for example, those with breathing difficulties or those with disabilities. The Government have provided a list of exemptions. Which list can be found within the linked FAQs above.

The NHS COVID-19 app

Please protect your loved ones by downloading the official NHS COVID-19 contact tracking app for England and Wales. Visit the NHS website here for more information.

Our travel guidelines:

Travel at quieter times
Book in advance and reserve your seat
Use contactless
Keep your distance
Wear a face covering
Check your journey
Leave an empty space between parked cars where possible
Wash your hands and carry hand sanitiser
Stand clear, allow others to alight safely

Go CrossCountry with confidence

Can you travel at quieter times?

Our services have limited capacity, so we are asking all our customers to reserve a seat for their journey and travel at quieter times where possible. Sign up for the National Rail Enquiries Alert Me by Messenger service to be notified if your train or station is expected to be busy.

More information on how to reserve a seat can be found in the ‘before you travel’ section below. For more information on the level of reservations we had last week please use the button below.

 

Book ahead and stay safe

Social distancing measures are in place on-board help keep you safe. To help manage the number of customers travelling on any one train, we ask that you book in advance and reserve a seat on a specific service.

For more information on how make a seat reservation please view our FAQs.

Please note:

  • Reservations will be made available on a first-come-first-served basis and when these are fully taken, it means the service is at full capacity, so you will not be able to buy a ticket to travel on that train. This will show as ‘sold out’ during the booking process.
  • Due to reservation system updates, on some services you are currently unable to book up to 12 weeks in advance. Please visit our dedicated page to view the latest dates available.
  • To reduce physical contact, we are encouraging customers to select an e-Ticket or Smartcard for Season tickets and use contactless payments, cash is currently not being accepted on-board our services.
  • We recommend that customers travel during quieter periods and to help you understand more in demand routes, we have created a traffic light system which indicates expected busier and quieter services. You can find more information on our dedicated page.

 

Passenger Assist

We are still operating both booked and un-booked Passenger Assistance services for those passengers that require this, although we recommend that you book ahead so we can ensure the correct assistance is provided.

When booking, our Passenger Assistance team may ask you some extra questions so that we can ensure that we balance your needs with the opportunity to respect social distancing requirements, so please allow a little more time to make your booking.

You can pre-book this service online when you buy your tickets on our website or you can call us on 0800 030 9224  text phone users can call us on 0800 030 9230). So that we can arrange everything for you, please give us at least 24 hours’ notice before you travel (48 hours if booking online though our website). Our opening hours are 08:00-22:00, 7 days a week.

If you have not pre-booked assistance, please allow extra time for your journey and follow signage and instructions from station and train staff.

CrossCountry are supporting the National Rail Industry Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme . Not all disabilities are visible and some won’t be immediately obvious to our colleagues. The Hidden Disability Sunflower, which is usually worn in the form of a lanyard, is a discreet way for us to be aware that support may be required from us throughout a customer’s journey. If you would like to obtain a lanyard, you can get one from most staffed stations or online via the scheme. We appreciate that if you are already part of this scheme, wearing a face covering may not be possible, so we advise you follow the guidance provided on Gov UK, which can be found here.

If you have a health condition or disability and would like a discreet way of informing our staff that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please download and print out an assistance card to present to our staff on your journey.

Seat Reservation FAQs

How can I make a seat reservation? +

Customers will receive a seat reservation when they purchase their tickets online or at a station. However, for customers who already hold a valid ticket, a reservation can be made as per below: For any journeys in the future, please use one of the four options below:
  1. Call our Customer Relations team on 03447 369 123 (Option 3) Opening Hours: Monday - Sunday 08:00-16:00
  2. E-mail Customer Relations on customer.relations@crosscountrytrains.co.uk
  3. Contact our Social Media team on Facebook viaCrossCountry Trains on Facebook or Twitter @crosscountryuk available 24/7
  4. Any staffed station
  5. For on the day reservations only, please use our Ten Minute Reservation service.

What if I already have a reservation? +

If you have received a reservation when purchasing a ticket, you should stick to your booked train and seat. If you would like to change your reservation, please get in touch with the ticket retailer with whom you made your purchase.

I’m travelling with my family. Do we have to reserve individual seats or can we travel together?+

You should still try to reserve, as on busier trains we could need to restrict travel if too many people attempt to board. However, if you are travelling as a family group then you may sit together if you wish instead of following social distancing. Only window seats are reservable so the seat next to you should always be free for a household member to sit next to you.

Will reservations just be available in a single carriage? +

All carriages will have reservable seats (apart from coach B on Voyagers and Turbostars). We ask that you avoid moving around, and if you haven’t reserved, then to use any available window seat and use our Ten Minute Reservation (TMR) service to make a reservation on that train.

I have a season ticket/local authority travel card /SWIFT card. Can I still just get on any train? +

We are asking Season ticket holders and those with travelcards to also make a reservation in advance. For any journeys in the future, please use one of the four options below:

    1. Call our Customer Relations team on 03447 369 123 (Option 3) Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 08:00-18:00 Saturday - Sunday 08:00-16:00
    2. E-mail Customer Relations on customer.relations@crosscountrytrains.co.uk
    3. Contact our Social Media team on twitter@crosscountryuk available 24/7
    4. Any staffed station
    5. For on the day reservations only, please use our Ten Minute Reservation service.

As I don’t know what time I’ll finish work how can I reserve a seat for my journey home? +

You can reserve on the day with us by using the Ten-Minute Reservation service (TMR). Details can be found here.

My previous train was delayed so I couldn’t catch the one I was reserved on+

If your train was delayed then please speak to a member of station staff who will endorse your ticket to travel on the next CrossCountry train.

Once your ticket has been endorsed, you will need a seat reservation. To make a seat reservation on the next train, please use our TMR service.

If you have missed your booked train, and the reason wasn’t related to the railway, e.g. traffic on your way to the station, then you will need to purchase a brand new ticket.

Have the current seating plans changed, where can I view them?+

We have created new seating plans for all of our trains in response to social distancing regulation. To keep everyone safe, only window seats are available to reserve. Download the seating plans for our trains using the links below:

  1. High Speed Train
  2. Turbostar
  3. Voyager

Can I still book a place for my wheelchair?+

Yes. Please contact our Passenger Assist Team as normal and they will be happy to help with the arrangements and any support you would like on your journey. To book travel assistance, please contact the Passenger Assist team on: Call us on 08000309224 or Textphone us on 0800 0309230. Our opening hours are: Sunday - Saturday 08:00-22:00. Alternatively you can e-mail us on assistance@crosscountrytrains.co.uk For any other enquires please contact us at ticketing@crosscountrytrains.co.uk.

At the station

Please note that CrossCountry do not manage any stations, so for advice and travel guidance for the station you intend to visit, please search for your station here.

Arrive early - Allow plenty of time at the station before your train arrives, as there may be directional signage and queuing systems in place.

Please keep your distance when parking - Please note, we do not manage any station car parks. However, our advice is try to park at a distance from other cars where possible.

Face coverings – It is mandatory to wear a face covering when passing through a railway station as well as when travelling by train. Face coverings can be removed only whilst food & drink is being consumed. To make your journey safer, maximum fines of £6,400 are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs. See our FAQs.

Social distancing - When walking through the station please respect other people around you. Always maintaining social distancing measures, including when using escalators, lifts and seating at stations.

Health and hygiene – Please always carry hand sanitiser to use before and after your journey. Hand sanitiser can be purchased from the catering trolley on-board, if available, if your train does not have a catering trolley, please ask one of our colleagues who will be able to help you further. We also ask that you wash your hands both before and after travelling with us. To find out more about availability of hand sanitisers please visit the station information page here.

Respectful behaviour - Please respect station colleagues, who are there to help and guide you through your onward journey.

Station colleagues - Please remember our teams at stations and on-board our trains are not responsible for the enforcement of social distancing. So please work with us, be mindful of your fellow passengers, and take sensible steps to keep a safe distance.

Station facilities - There is a greater focus on cleaning toilets and other high-touch areas in stations, as well as increased use of antiviral cleaning products and ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap. For more station information about the facilities at certain stations please visit here.

On the train

Buy your ticket in advance, and reserve a seat. - To help us maintain social distancing on-board our services, please book before you travel, and reserve your seat. You can make a seat reservation when booking directly via our website, mobile site or Train Tickets app. At the point of purchase, you will receive a reservation which will include your coach and seat number.

Full services – If there is no available space on the train when it arrives, you must disembark and wait for the next service to arrive. If this is the last service of the day, please contact us and we will be able to arrange alternative transport.

Follow the signage - There is additional signage on all our trains to remind you and fellow passengers to 'stay safe and stay apart', throughout your journey.

Social distancing - Please keep your distance from other customers and our colleagues. It is important to stick to your reserved seat on-board to help us maintain our social distancing processes.

Face coverings - It is mandatory to wear a face covering on-board our trains at all times, except for when consuming food and drink. Maximum fines of £6,400 are being issued by British Transport Police to people who do not wear a face covering. While some people are exempt, everyone else must do so to protect others. See our FAQs

Catering - Catering is available on-board our services. To keep our customers and colleagues safe, catering will be provided from a static location at one end of the train. On-board colleagues will make regular announcements to let customers know when and where to find our catering trolley.

We have reintroduced our at-seat service in First Class which will comply with social distancing measures. Please note, we only have a limited range of products at the moment.

Customers are welcome to bring their own food and drinks on-board and face coverings can be removed only whilst food & drink is being consumed. If you are travelling with us in Wales, please note that under current guidelines you cannot consume food and drink on-board..

Health and hygiene - Always carry hand sanitiser, ensure you wash your hands before and after your journey and do not touch your face throughout your journey. Hand sanitiser can be purchased from the catering trolley on-board, if available. If your train does not have a catering trolley, please ask one of our colleagues who will be able to help you further. We are only accepting contactless payments on-board for the safety of both our customers and colleagues.

Boarding the train - Stand well clear of the doors and allow others to leave the train with a safe distance before you board. We have added additional dwell time where possible at busier stations to give you and other customers enough time to board safely.

Avoid busier times of travel - Please consider booking to travel with us at quieter times of the day if it is possible for you to do so. Our dedicated ‘traffic light’ page shows how busy reservations have been over the last week, so you are able to choose quieter times to travel here.

Cleaning our trains - We have enhanced our cleaning regimes and are now spending an additional 2400 hours each week cleaning our trains, especially focussing on the main touchpoints such as door buttons and hand rails. We have also increased the frequency of deep cleans. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel the service you are on was not up to standard. You can find the best means of contacting us here.

Facilities - All of our toilet facilities are still available on board. We have increased our cleaning regimes including the increase use of antiviral cleaning products and ensuring toilets are well stocked with soap.

What we're doing

Following the latest Government guidance - We continue to follow the latest Government guidelines to ensure we take the appropriate actions to keep you safe. We're proud to have been awarded the 'We're good to go' accreditation from Visit Britain, meaning we provide a COVID-safe environment for you on-board our trains.

Reducing contact when handling payments - We are encouraging our customers to use contactless payments only and where possible purchase an e-Ticket or use a Smart card for Season tickets.

Please check payment options at the station you are visiting, please visit the station information page here.

Promoting good personal hygiene - We are selling hand sanitiser from our catering trolley on-board, subject to availability. If your train does not have a catering trolley, please ask one of our colleagues who will be able to help you.

Enhanced cleaning -We have reviewed the work of our train maintenance and cleaning contractors to ensure all trains go through a deep clean process at the end of each day, with regular cleaning throughout service.

We have increased staffing levels to help keep our trains clean during the day and our on-board cleaners clean the equivalent of 264 football pitches every day.

We have introduced more frequent walk-throughs to clean surfaces on a more regular basis and have ensured our team are fully aware of the importance of maintaining good hygiene themselves.

Social distancing - We have installed additional on-board signage reminding you and other customers to ‘stay safe and stay apart’.

Reserving a seat - We have listened to your feedback and re-introduced seat reservations. For all journeys from Monday 7 September, we are asking you to book before you travel and reserve a seat on the train to help us maintain social distancing on-board. For more information, please visit our reservations FAQs.

 

General FAQs

What provisions are in place for increased capacity? +

To support the return of schools, colleges and universities from Monday 8 March, our regional teams have evaluated where we feel there might be hotspots for travel across our network and strengthened services (Monday – Friday). This means that with added demand, there will be additional carriages to some of our services to allow for social distancing on-board where possible. We will be continuing to monitor this closely over the coming weeks and making additional changes where needed.

The tables below show our daily Monday – Friday Voyager Trains that from Monday 8 March will have extra seating capacity available.

Northbound

Train

Departure time from Birmingham New Street

0603 Birmingham New Street – Edinburgh Waverley

0603

0525 Plymouth - Newcastle

0903

0730 Bournemouth – Manchester Piccadilly

1057

0725 Plymouth – Newcastle

1103

1235 Bristol Temple Meads – Glasgow Central

1403

1427 Plymouth – Edinburgh Waverley (until Newcastle)

1803

1845 Bournemouth – Manchester Piccadilly

2157

Southbound

Train

Departure time from Birmingham New Street

0645 York – Plymouth

0912

0640 Newcastle – Bristol Temple Meads

1012

2105 Glasgow Central – Edinburgh Waverley

-           

1327 Manchester Piccadilly – Bournemouth

1504

1339 Newcastle – Bristol Temple Meads

1712

1305 Edinburgh Waverley – Plymouth

1812

1539 Newcastle – Bristol Temple Meads

1912

Can I change my ticket or apply for a refund? +

For tickets purchased with CrossCountry using our website, mobile site or Train Tickets app please see the table below. Otherwise, please contact your original retailer.

Ticket type

Can I change my ticket?

Can I get a refund?      

Next steps

Advance train tickets

You can amend your Advance train ticket without paying a £10.00 admin fee with CrossCountry 

You may change your date and time of travel, but your origin and destination must remain the same. Any changes must be made before the first booked service departs. 

 

Advance tickets are not refundable.

For Advance train tickets, purchased on or before the date of the latest government announcement (04 January 2021), valid for travel to any station on or after 05 January 2021, Rail Travel Vouchers will be available. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. National Rail Travel Vouchers must not be exchanged for cash. 

 

To change your ticket please request in the My Account section of our site or Train Tickets app. If you purchased without being logged into your account or do not hold an account please contact our Web Support Team on sales.support.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk or 0371 244 2389. Our web support lines are open Monday - Friday: 08:00-20:00, Saturday - Sunday: 09:00-17:00.

To request a Rail Travel Voucher please e-mail our Customer Relations Team on customer.relations@crosscountrytrains.co.uk. Please include your booking reference number. 

All other tickets with the exception of Season tickets

As your ticket is flexible, please check to see if it is valid for when you would like to travel. Otherwise, you can apply for a refund if requested within 28 days of the expiry of your ticket.

If you booked an Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak ticket on or before 4 January 2021, you are entitled to a fee-free refund. Changes should be made before the journey has begun and a refund must be claimed within 28 days  of the ticket expiry. For all other dates, the usual admin fees will apply.

To request a refund or change your ticket please request in the My Account section of our site or Train Tickets app. If you purchased without being logged into your account or do not hold an account please contact our Web Support Team on sales.support.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk or 0371 244 2389. Our web support lines are open Monday - Friday: 08:00-20:00, Saturday - Sunday: 09:00-17:00.

Please note, refunds can take up to 5 working days to process once received by our team.

Season tickets can be refunded at any time, but there must be at least three days remaining on a weekly Season ticket, or seven days remaining on a monthly or longer Season ticket to obtain a refund. Refunds are not pro-rata as the unit cost of a Season ticket decreases as the period of validity increases. Annual Season tickets have little to no refund value if they have been used for more than 10 months, 12 days.

For more information and to see how much you could get back for your Season ticket, visit the National Rail website and use the Season Ticket Refund Calculator tool.

To request a refund for your Season ticket please contact our Web Support team on seasons.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk.

If you have a paper ticket and wish to make a refund please contact our Web Support team on sales.support.crosscountry@trainsfares.co.uk address only and they will provide directions on how to process. This will include a photograph of your paper ticket cut diagonally in half.

I am a Railcard holder, will I receive a refund or an extension, to reflect the period I was unable to travel? +

After careful consideration, the government has confirmed that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended.

What is the availability of staff and how can I seek help if needed? +

Station staff are still available for advice and there is Help points at non staffed stations. If you require "live" help whilst travelling you can contact our customer relations by telephone: 03447 369 123 (08:00-16:00) or our Social Media team on Facebook via CrossCountry Trains or Twitter @crosscountryuk available 24/7. On board staff are also there to help during your journey.

We are still operating both booked and un-booked Passenger Assistance services for those passengers that require this. For information please view here.

What do I do if the train I want is too full to board safely? +

Customers must reserve a seat before they travel to ensure that they can board the service that they want to travel on.  If you try to reserve a seat and there is not one available this will indicate that the train is fully reserved under the social distancing measures. Therefore you will be directed to a service that still has availability. 

If you arrive at the station without a reservation and the train is deemed too full to board, you can get your ticket endorsed by station staff to travel on the next available service. We also advise you to use our Ten Minute reservation service to reserve a seat on the next available train.

What happens if the last train of the day is too full to board? +

Customer are asked to avoid the last service of the day unless they have reserved a seat on that service or are unable to travel any earlier. 

If the last service is too busy too board and you are at a manned station, our staff can support alternative arrangements with you.

Is cash still accept on-board? +

To reduce psychical contact, cash is not accepted on-board and we are encouraging customers to use contactless payments.

Can I still take journey's that cross the border between England, Scotland and Wales? +

Before travelling you must check your journey in line with national restrictions. For cross-border travel please view EnglandScotland and Wales government websites for travel guidance and advice. Please be aware that restrictions may vary from where you are travelling from to where you are travelling to. 

For all other queries +

If you have any other queries that do not relate to an existing booking our Customer Relations team are here to help. To achieve social distancing, and with the challenges of Coronavirus, our Customer Relations telephone lines are now open 7 days a week: 08:00 –16:00. Passenger Assistance telephone lines will be open Sunday - Saturday 08:00 - 16:00.

Please remember, you can also use our online contact forms to get in touch at any time - for Customer Relations please use the form here and for Passenger Assistance please use the form here.

Face covering FAQs

What constitutes a face covering? +

The Government’s instructions state that a face covering is a cloth that should “cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head.”

Where does this apply – just on trains or in stations too? +

We want people to wear face coverings from when they enter a station all the way through their journey, including exiting the station at the other end. If people are then moving onto the bus, tram or tube, they should avoid taking off their face covering while they interchange to avoid touching their face or mouth unnecessarily.

Can I take my face covering off when I cross the border into Scotland or Wales? +

It is mandatory to wear face coverings on our trains, where ever you are.
For more information, and to ensure you are adhering to the guidelines if you are travelling across the border, please see the current government guidance for England, Scotland and Wales.

What do I do with my face covering when I am finished with it? +

We encourage passengers to use reusable face coverings where possible as these are better for the environment. If you have a disposable face covering then please take it home to dispose of it or put it in the normal bins available on stations at the end of your journey.

What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering? +

We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Please also be aware that some passengers may not be able to wear as mask due to medical issues. Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, people should keep their distance – at least two metres, if possible.

What about a long-distance service where people are on the train for hours, will this apply there? +

Yes. For example, the wearing of face coverings is already mandatory on Eurostar trains.

Do children require face coverings? +

Children under 11 are not required to wear face coverings.

Are you doing this just to reduce the need for social distancing? +

No. We are doing this to further reduce the risk of infection. Used properly, face coverings can help prevent the spread of the disease. Social distancing and good hand hygiene are still very important.

What if I can’t wear a face covering for medical reasons or due to a disability? +

You can still use public transport. We want people to be able to travel with dignity and our staff will act considerately towards those who cannot wear a mask due to their disability.

The requirement to wear a face covering also does not apply if you have a reasonable excuse not to. Reasonable excuses include:

    • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering.
    • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress.
    • if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.
    • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
    • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
    • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
    • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard.

Our colleagues are also aware of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower scheme, and will be able to offer assistance when required. For more information on being exempt from wearing a face covering, please visit the Gov UK website here.

What do rail staff do to make sure people wear face coverings on trains? +

Rail staff engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings when they travel by train and encourage people to wear them. The vast majority of people do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Unless they have a good reason, those that don’t wear a face covering could receive a maximum fine of £6,400 from the British Transport Police.

Why are people allowed on my train without face coverings? +

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can be issued with a £6,400 maximum fine from the British Transport Police.

 

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More information on COVID-19

You can find more information on Coronavirus/COVID-19 and methods to prevent the virus spreading, together with answers to many questions you may have, using the following links:

 

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