Santa Claus is Coming to Town… by Train

By Crosscountry Trains, PRNE
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

MANCHESTER, England, December 22, 2010 - Could Rudolph be out of a job as Santa ditches his sleigh to climb aboard
the 'CrossCountry Christmas Express' to deliver the 77 million presents
expected to travel by train this year?

Without his faithful red nosed friend, let's hope Santa is prepared for
the 31 per cent of rail passengers who have been putting together their
Christmas lists. It appears there's going to be some strange gifts in Santa's
sack this year!

In a survey recently conducted by CrossCountry Trains, over a third of
people won't be driving home for Christmas as they ditch the chaos of the icy
roads to travel by train. But what about the presents that need to travel
with them?

The survey showed that the average rail passenger is planning on carrying
five Christmas gifts in the remaining days leading up to Christmas. Amongst
the strangest list of items people plan to give this year are fish tanks, pot
bellied pigs, football goalposts, bird tables, a ten person sized cracker and
an oversized stuffed bear.

David Watkin, Commercial Director at CrossCountry, comments: "We have a
lot of experience with helping passengers to carry unusual items to their
destinations; seeing passengers travel with unusual pets, wedding dresses and
even life size Smurfs, so we welcome all passengers and their gifts onboard
CrossCountry this Christmas.

"It's pleasing to see more and more people each year choosing to travel
home for Christmas by train."

Topping the charts for the strangest Christmas presents to be seen on a
train are:

    1. A pot-bellied pig

    2. A set of football goalposts

    3. A bird table

    4. Stuffed animal

    5. Rocking horse

    6. Snake

    7. Squid

    8. 10 person sized Christmas cracker

    9. Pantomime Horse

    10. Fish tank

Last year CrossCountry carried thousands of passengers on journeys home
over the Christmas period and this year expects to see that figure rise as
people continue to battle against the Christmas cold spell.

For travellers planning on walking their presents on-board 'two by two',
in respect of fellow passengers, CrossCountry unfortunately cannot
accommodate lions, tigers or bears. Cats, dogs are of course welcome whilst
unfortunately livestock will have to join Rudolph in making alternative
arrangements this year.

*the number of presents is based on 31 per cent of the adult UK
population travelling by train and each carrying an average of five presents.

Please find notes to Editors, CrossCountry facts and figures below.

Notes to editors

CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The
franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March
. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise
plans log on to

CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, which is owned by Deutsche
Bahn. Arriva is a leading pan-European public transport operators with more
than 38,500 employees and operations across 11 European countries. The link
to Arriva is The link to Deutsche Bahn is

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CrossCountry facts and figures:




PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated

ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million

EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,600

LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: 08.20 Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles)

For more information feel free to contact us on +44(0)121-2006115 or by email
to communications at

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