Arriva UK Trains

Arriva is a major train operator in the UK. Over 14 years’ experience in providing passenger rail services means we have developed strong relationships with customers, transport bodies and tendering authorities alike.

The UK rail market is deregulated and almost fully contracted by the Department for Transport, Transport Scotland, the Welsh Government and Transport for London. The country’s 22 rail contracts are typically net cost and vary in length. Contracts for light rail and tram systems are issued by local or regional authorities. Arriva runs four rail franchises and two rail contracts that cover 22 per cent of the entire network, as well as the UK’s first modern light rail service.


Arriva operates the Northern franchise, the second largest rail franchise in the UK, and runs regional and commuter services across the region.

Improvements on the Northern network include:

  • Arriva will oversee the complete removal of the out-dated and unpopular Pacers by the end of 2019, and will invest almost £500 million in 281 brand new air-conditioned carriages.
  • More than 2,000 extra services each week, with around 400 additional Sunday services, including new direct journeys from Bradford to Wakefield, Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool and Hull; from Leeds to Chester and Bridlington; from Lincoln to Leeds; and from Manchester Airport to Warrington, Bradford and Halifax
  • Nearly a 40 per cent increase in capacity – creating space for 31,000 extra passengers travelling into the five major commuter cities in the north (Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle) during the morning rush-hour.

Visit the Northern Railway website >>


The CrossCountry network is the most extensive rail contract in cross-country the UK. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, and from Stansted to Cardiff, it calls at more than 120 stations.

Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of Britain’s 10 largest cities, delivering services every weekday that equate to some 32 million passenger journeys a year.

Successes at a glance:

  • First train company to be awarded five stars under the EFQM ‘Recognise for Excellence’ accreditation
  • Pioneer of e-ticketing, with 20 per cent of all purchases made online.
  • Winner of the ‘Golden Spanner’ award for reliability five years in a row.

Visit the CrossCountry website >>

Chiltern Railways

Chiltern Railways is the only UK mainline train company to hold a 20-year contract. It provides scheduled passenger services along the M40 corridor between London Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street or Aylesbury via Amersham.

Successes at a glance:

  • £250 million route upgrade has reduced journey times by up to 24 per cent.
  • Work underway to create the first new inter-city route in over 100 years, between Oxford and London.
  • Passenger satisfaction more than 8 per cent above the national average at 91 per cent.

Visit the Chiltern Railways website >>

Arriva Trains Wales

Arriva Trains Wales provides inter-urban, rural and commuter passenger rail services throughout Wales and the English border counties. It operates all stations in Wales and many in the border counties.

We work closely with the Welsh Assembly Government, the contract provider, to deliver crucial rail elements of its National Transport Plan. As such, we have invested more than £30 million in infrastructure and fleet improvements as well as enhancing ticketing and information facilities for our customers.

Successes at a glance:

  • £15 million plus train and station refurbishment has improved facilities for passengers.
  • Working with key partners on the £220 million development of the rail network around Cardiff.
  • Operates the only route in the UK fitted with European Rail Traffic Management System for state-of-the-art signalling.

Visit the Arriva Trains Wales website >>

Grand Central Railway

Grand Central Railway is the UK’s largest open access rail operator, providing around one million passenger journeys a year. Open access operators are not part of a franchise and Grand Central Railway does not receive a subsidy from, or pay any premium, to the Department for Transport.

Based in York, our Grand Central Railway services link large cities in Yorkshire and the North East with London Kings Cross.

Successes at a glance:

  • Achieved a 96 per cent overall passenger satisfaction rating in 2016.
  • Secured a fifth daily train service from London King’s Cross in 2012.
  • On-board WiFi* upgrade means customers are benefiting from quicker and more reliable internet connections.

*Subject to availability

Visit the Grand Central website >>

London Overground

Arriva Rail London operates the London Overground network under contract to Transport for London (TfL). The seven and half year concession commenced in November 2016, with the network linking 23 of London’s 33 boroughs.

Working in partnership with TfL, Arriva Rail London will deliver further improvements for customers through more frequent services, new trains and improved interchanges, as well as developing stations and lines to meet increasing passenger demand.

Visit the Arriva Rail London website >>

Light Rail: Tyne and Wear Metro

The Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail network of 60 stations used by 38 million passengers a year. It was the UK’s first modern light rail service - established to serve Newcastle, Sunderland and the surrounding area in the north east of England.

Our seven-year contract is operated on behalf of Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive, and covers train services, fleet maintenance and modernisation of all trains, as well as day-to-day station management.

Successes at a glance:

  • Leading an 11-year maintenance programme to upgrade the system.
  • Fifty-five Metro stations are Safer Tram Stop accredited.
  • Integrated social media, online and email tools to provide up-to-date travel alerts for passengers.

Visit the Tyne and Wear Metro website >>

Open Access: Alliance Rail

Arriva’s Alliance Rail business is exploring opportunities for open access passenger rail services. It currently owns the brand rights to the Great North West Railways (GNWR) and Great North Eastern Railways (GNER).

GNWR is planning to introduce 60 trains a day on the West Coast Main Line from London Euston in accordance with the 2016 timetable. GNER is seeking to introduce new train services on the East Coast Main Line from 2016 out of London King’s Cross.

Visit the Alliance Rail website >>

Maintenance: Arriva TrainCare

Arriva’s TrainCare business is a leading maintenance depot and servicing facility for electric and diesel trains. In recent years, Arriva TrainCare has grown following substantial investment in developing heavy maintenance work.

Operating from depots in strategic locations across the country, Arriva TrainCare currently provides maintenance services to CrossCountry and Arriva Trains Wales. It has also started a £1 million contract to repaint 72 Class 150/2 vehicles owned by Porterbrook Leasing.

Visit the Arriva TrainCare website >>

Business travel

We understand the needs of business travellers, no matter how long or short their journeys, or how frequent. And we want to get to grips with your specific requirements,so we can work together to achieve longterm benefits.

Read more about Business Travel

Northern in figures:

  • 5,200 employees
  • 333 train sets
  • 475 stations managed
  • 2,500 services every day

CrossCountry in figures:

  • 1,670 employees
  • 1,478 route miles
  • 91 train sets
  • 295 services every weekday

Chiltern Railways in figures:

  • 765 employees
  • 215 route miles
  • 68 train sets
  • 36 stations managed
  • 417 services every weekday

Arriva Trains Wales in figures:

  • 2,010 employees
  • 1,009 route miles
  • 125 train sets
  • 245 stations managed
  • 956 services every weekday

Grand Central in figures:

  • 120 employees
  • 474 route miles
  • 8 train sets
  • 18 services every weekday

London Overground in figures:

  • 1,500 employees
  • 7 routes and 104 miles
  • 96 train sets
  • 72 per cent of network stations managed
  • 1,485 services every weekday  

Tyne and Wear Metro in figures:

  • 505 employees
  • 48 route miles
  • 45 metro train sets
  • 59 stations managed
  • 476 services every weekday

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