The altered Cross Country franchise was awarded to Arriva in May 2008 who introduced a small scale HST operation to supplement the Voyager fleet that they inherited from Virgin. Off lease and long term stored power cars 43101/103/121/157 were returned to service after a full overhaul and re-engineering programme together with 43007/085/104/166/178/184 which were then surplus to Midland Mainline. The ex Midland Mainline sets were pressed into service on Glasgow/Edinburgh to Plymouth/Penzance services. The non refurbished ex Midland Mainline sets were used whilst the power cars and rolling stock previously in long term store were refurbished and re-engineered with the power cars receiving MTU power units. As a result of this the power cars were renumbered in a similar way to East Coast by adding 200 to the current number. Therefore 43007 became 43207. Once the power cars and rolling stock from long term store had been refurbished the ex Midland Mainline examples were put through the programme.
Today Cross Country have five HST sets with three in daily use on weekdays and two in use on Saturdays in the winter. Sundays see four HST diagrams in operation. Like First Great Western, Cross Country extend some services in the summer peak to Paignton and Newquay and more sets are in operation to ensure maximum capacity on the network.
The HST sets are maintained at Neville Hill and Craigentinny depots. All vehicles in the fleet carry the eye catching Cross Country livery.
Download the latest diagrams for Cross Country HST services here (207kb PDF).