BRITISH operator CrossCountry has signed an eight-year extension of its Train Services Agreement (TSA) with Alstom, valued at around €950m.

Under the agreement, Alstom will continue to maintain, overhaul, service and clean CrossCountry’s fleet of 34 class 220 Voyager and 24 class 221 Super Voyager trains at their main depot, Central Rivers. In addition, seven Voyagers will move to CrossCountry when they are released by Avanti West Coast to bolster the CrossCountry fleet and enable service frequencies to be increased in due course.

Owned by rolling stock leasing company Beacon Rail, the Voyagers operate across the CrossCountry network, which stretches from Aberdeen in Scotland to Penzance in the southwest of England. In September, the Department for Transport (DfT) awarded Arriva a four-year National Rail Contract to continue to operate CrossCountry services.

Alstom says the contract extension places a strong focus on robust fleet performance, with a joint team established by Alstom, Beacon Rail and CrossCountry to identify improvement initiatives, as well as to ensure a high- quality passenger environment.

The contract includes management of all preventative and corrective maintenance; all required overhaul activities; cleaning and light maintenance services; vehicle servicing; service delivery support, including a 24/7 telephone help line; vehicle cleaning including daily and periodic cleaning; depot management; depot shunting operations; obsolescence monitoring and management, and repair of damage caused by accidents and vandalism.

Under the agreement, the CrossCountry fleet will be fitted with an Intelligent Engine Stop Start (IESS) system, which will enable a reduction in fuel consumption, emissions, and operating costs. Additionally, the joint team will continue with other fuel-saving measures to build on the weight-reduction initiatives already undertaken, or now underway, which will substantially reduce fleet emissions.

“We are delighted to extend our Voyager maintenance contract with CrossCountry for another eight years,” says Alstom managing director, UK and Ireland, Mr Nick Crossfield. “We have worked in close partnership since 2007, providing reliable, well-presented, and safe trains for all CrossCountry’s customers. We look forward to working with our colleagues at CrossCountry to help them deliver a high-quality train service for the next eight years.”

“We’re delighted to continue our relationship with Alstom as we embark on our National Rail Contract,” says CrossCountry managing director, Mr Tom Joyner. “Improving the onboard experience is critical to ensuring our customers view us as a long-distance operator of choice and we look forward to working closely with Alstom in the years ahead to deliver these improvements.”