CrossCountry Trains Ltd won the right to operate the CrossCountry franchise from 11 November 2007 when the Strategic Rail Authority determined that its bid for the franchise was the best value for money and the most sustainable. CrossCountry operates the most extensive passenger rail network in the UK covering 16 million route miles per year; it also operates the longest rail service in the UK – the 08:20 a.m. Aberdeen to Penzance (774 miles). Based in the centre of England in Birmingham, the company serves seven of the country’s largest cities and provides 295 services every weekday, which equates to around 30 million passenger journeys per year. It also employs around 1,626 employees. The company does not operate any stations itself, but CrossCountry’s trains do call at more than 119 stations stretching from Aberdeen in the north, Stansted Airport in the east, Cardiff in the west and Penzance in the south west. With Birmingham New Street at the hub, its services crisscross the country in a similar pattern to that of the UK motorway system.