Part of the public transport group Arriva (perhaps known for their bus services and in turn owned by German company Deutsche Bahn), CrossCountry trains are one of a number of operators running services on the British rail network. Currently, the business is responsible for the “New Cross Country” franchise, holding the exclusive rights to the routes included in this package until 2019.
CrossCountry are named as such due to the extensive areas that they cover, with the company currently run 8 key routes spanning England, Scotland and Wales. Partly because of this, CrossCountry hold the title of running the longest direct train service in the UK, going directly from Aberdeen (North-West Scotland) to Penzance (South-East England).
Unlike all of their national competitors, CrossCountry are unique in being the only company not responsible for the running of a train station themselves. However, they do use Birmingham New Street as an unofficial hub, with each of their routes either starting, terminating or passing through the location.
Parent company Arriva themselves own 4 other rail franchises in addition to CrossCountry – Arriva Trains Wales, Chiltern Railways, Grand Central Railway and the London Overground. The unique brands are used to identify the different routes that each are responsible for, with each generally specialising in a single area of the country.