Train services from Brighton withdrawn

A direct train service from Brighton to the north of England will be withdrawn in December.

The route, which is operated by Cross Country Trains, currently allows passengers to travel directly from stations including Brighton, Haywards Heath, Gatwick, Redhill, Croydon and Kensington Olympia to Birmingham and Manchester.

However when the train company took over its franchise in November from the Government it was told the service would no longer be required from December 14 2008.

The train services which will be affected from Brighton will be the northbound trains to Birmingham at 09.21 and the 14.22 train to Manchester.

The southbound trains to Brighton leave Manchester at 07.54 and 14.54.

About 40 members of staff, including drivers, train managers, catering staff and office staff, will be relocated to other Cross Country depots or will be offered redundancy packages.

Lee West, communications manager for the train company, said: “This was a decision taken by the Department for Transport up to three years ago.

“It is not that these journeys aren’t still possible, but from December they will require a change of trains, such as travelling via London or changing at Gatwick.”

Will these changes affect you? If so contact Emily-Ann Elliott on 01273 544538, email or leave your comments below.


Blighty says...
11:53am Sun 12 Oct 08

I wonder if this service would have survived had it been more popular? I may have been mistaken but searching for evidence of its existence recently I found it very hard to discover. Even the travel centre did not know about it and instead sold me a ticket to Manchester changing at Watford!

davyboy says...
4:40pm Sun 12 Oct 08

this train is popular, as i have witnessed for myself, using it from oxford to brighton. the government want folk to use public transport, and then remove services. what a joke. if the decision was taken 3 years ago, then why hasn't some company planned to replace it.

NoWayIsBack says...
5:12pm Sun 12 Oct 08

I wonder if it would have survived if Virgin Trains had been handed the franchise again? From my experience, X-Country are awful. The trains aren't as clean as when it was Virgin, the shop prices have shot up...

Bad choice. Bad bad choice.

20312 says...
5:37pm Sun 12 Oct 08

The X country service is horrible, if anyone wants to go to Reading/Oxford I would suggest getting a train to Gatwick and then getting the FGW Reading service and then changing onto an Oxford. For Ken O getting to Clapham Junction and changing onto L Overground or Watford Junction.

The Xcountry service goes the long way around and stops at nearly every signal. It also gets stuck at Willesden Junction. Voyagers are also not the most comfortable trains either.

feline1 says...
7:55pm Sun 12 Oct 08

What a way to encourage people off their cars and onto the trains: cancel services!

Mr. Kipling says...
10:39pm Sun 12 Oct 08

Bring back the loco hauled services. Those Voyagers are a joke. More things like an over priced "shop" which last time I went on one was closed half the time, they seem to have been designed with the passengers as an afterthought. At least with loco haulage you can add an extra coach or two if crowds are expected. And Arriva, who own Xcountry and are actually too embarassed to include their name on there, so they operate them at arms length, Arriva couldn`t run their way out of a soggy paper bag, be it running buses, trains or whatever. None of the privatised operators are any good, the whole situation is twice as bad as when British Rail ran things

blockhead says...
12:19am Mon 13 Oct 08

oh thanks,
i use this service to visit my parents in the midlands,
this is by far the cheapest service to get there, i change at Reading and an advance ticket is usually less than £8 to there,
(i would like to add this service is not mentioned on any searches i do to the location i have to get to, i am required to book two singles for the route separately, maybe that's your problem virgin/x-country or whoever you are)
gutted, i can plug my laptop in and watch movies, even though the service is slow between london and reading,
i also take my bike with me, the only advertised (but still more expensive) routes are through london on the underground, ever tried taking a bike on the underground?
what a joke, oh well mum and dad, i won't be seeing you for a while, unless i cycle up of course, will take me 2-3 days, oh actually i might invest in a car,

BBBrighton says...
10:15am Mon 13 Oct 08

as the above comments state people may have actually used this service had it been advertised or appeared anywhere on Brighton Station. Most people now have to travel to london to get anywhere further north than Kensington Olympia which is irritating and can waste a lot of time. The supposed simplification of the tickets is also a joke its still needlessly complicated and expensive

Pontop Pike says...
12:09pm Mon 13 Oct 08

Cross Country Trains are just as bad if not worse than Virgin.

But loco hauled trains ARE NOT the way forward. The old HST was perfect, and there seems little reason why they are not still operating where there are no wires.

Voyagers are good for two things. Smelling of urine and blowing up its enginess.

Acheron says...
9:13pm Mon 13 Oct 08

Come on everyone, anyone would think that the trains are being run as a public service. We all know that it's being run as a profit making company.

With the railways split into the number of franchises that they are, separate negotiations are needed with each of these franchises and a payment needs to be made to each. Thats never going to be seen as economical (either time or financially) for a single operator.

2little2late says...
8:09pm Tue 14 Oct 08

I am one of the staff being made redundant on 13 December when XC pull out of Brighton. Together the staff wrote to local MPs, The press, Councils and local Hotel associations to make people aware and to try and get the public to lobby the government to rethink their plans but recieved little or no support. In my view the area is losing a vital rail link and I am losing my job. It is no good moaning about losing this service now when some of us tried to make you aware a year ago.


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