CrossCountry announces new rail timetable for Birmingham and Manchester

Train operating company CrossCountry has announced a new timetable increasing the number of services between Birmingham and Manchester
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Rail services between Birmingham and Manchester are set to become more frequent in a new timetable announced by CrossCountry.

The train operating company said it has developed the new timetable to strengthen services to meet customer demands - and stakeholder input and colleague feedback.

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It says the new timetable will see CrossCountry’s most significant uplift in frequency and connections post-pandemic, where demand requires.

Specifically, the changes will reinstate twice hourly services between Birmingham and Manchester, with an hourly service running between Manchester and Bristol. The timetable will also see the introduction of some through services from Paignton to Manchester.

How often will services run between Birmingham and Manchester?

The extension to services brought about by the new timetable will reintroduce a half hourly service between Birmingham and Manchester, with trains set to depart Manchester at 03 and 25, and Birmingham at 01 and 30 every hour.

It will also improve connections with the South West, with half hourly services to Bristol. The timetable will additionally introduce two services per day on weekdays and Saturdays between Manchester and Paignton to improve links between the city and the popular UK tourist destination.

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Trains operating on the Manchester-Bristol route from 21 May 2023 will be single set, with the increased frequency meaning the same capacity will be available for passengers throughout the day. Double length trains will be introduced for busier services, mainly at weekends, to account for increased leisure demand anticipated during this time.

Initially, there will be rail replacements in place to support travel between Oxford and Didcot Parkway. However, following the necessary, emergency repair works to the Nuneham Viaduct railway bridge, the new timetable will see an hourly service from Manchester run right through to Bournemouth.

CrossCountry trainsCrossCountry trains
CrossCountry trains

What has CrossCountry said about the new timetable in its own words?

Commenting on the changes, Nick Chadwick, Regional Director for West Midlands and Northwest at CrossCountry, said: “The new timetable introduces significant improvements to connectivity and consistency across the region, and its changes are heavily informed by feedback from both our customers and wider stakeholders.

“It is designed to reflect and respond to today’s passenger needs, as well as the future demand changes we anticipate. Since the pandemic, we have seen a strong recovery in leisure demand across the region, especially between Manchester and Birmingham on evenings and weekends, given the route’s access to popular football and music venues,” continues Nick.

“As passenger volumes continue to change post-pandemic, we are continually reviewing our services to provide improved frequency and capacity to customers where and when they need it most.”

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