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Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline

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Andy
CiviCr

Andy
Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
15th August 2012 at 12:36PM
West Coast Mainline lost to FirstGroup who reckon they will "offer substantial improvements in the quality and frequency of services".

I use Virgin trains between Manchester and London, and unfortunately First Group trains in the South West and if they are anything to go by then either the price to travel to London is going to skyrocket or the line is going to go bankrupt and have to be bailed out.

Virgin trains are by far the best value and comfortable and almost always on time. First trains are decrepit and late. I wonder what will happen to all of Virgin's trains?
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Coleman
Good Citizen

Coleman
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
15th August 2012 at 2:11PM
As i understand it the trains are owned by the government as part of the infrastructure, and are simply operated by the franchise holder. Although i'm no expert so that could be wrong.

I don't use trains much at all, but did travel to London a few months back via the west coast main line, i actually found the whole experience to be excellent (i was in first class), albeit expensive! It worked out cheaper for me to take the train as i was travelling alone, but had i been travelling with others as i have a fair few times in the past, it would have been cheaper to drive!

Obviously it takes longer to drive so a day in London is a very long one if you don't take the train, but if the fares do go up a lot as they are predicting i can see many people reverting back to car travel on this route, especially if the service suffers too (also being predicted)!
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Dave78
Idler

Dave78
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
16th August 2012 at 8:34AM
You are nearly right Coleman in so far as First will use the same trains. However, trains are owned by 'private' companies (ROSCO's) and then leased to the Train Operating Companies.

The Department for transport specifies in the franchise agreement what trains a TOC will use so First will therefore have priced to lease the Pendolinos in their bid.

This is why it is not as simple as it might seem to add extra coaches to overcrowded trains mid-franchise. There isn't the money there to lease additional rolling stock so it would be necessary for a TOC to re-negotiate their franchise to adjust how much premium they pay to the government or (more likely) how much subsidy they receive.

Everybody in the know seems to think that Virgin loosing West Coast is a bad thing both in terms of day to day service provision (which Virgin seem to consider far more important than most in the industry) but also what happens when/if First fail to meet their eye watering premium payments to government and get kicked out (as happened on East Coast).

When will the DfT learn?
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Silenzi
Townsperson

Silenzi
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
16th August 2012 at 12:22PM
I think Virgin Trains are one of the few positives to have come out of privatisation. Decent trains, fast journey times and good service. Fares are ridiculously expensive, though.

Seems like they are being replaced by a bunch of cowboys.
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Robot69
Citizen

Robot69
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
16th August 2012 at 1:08PM
Having just come back from the smoke on VT I was impressed with it all. Fast load up of people with helpful staff, Euston to Stockport in less than 2 hrs, clean comfy, smooth and quiet.

I feel sorry for the staff as a number will eventually lose their jobs and then for the travelers as the fares will rocket - this says most analysts and also the stock market going off the share slump yesterday.
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Adora
Good Citizen

Adora
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
20th August 2012 at 11:29PM
Mad - stark raving mad. T'other lot have paid loads more for it and we all know who will be picking up that tab. Virgin, in my experience, are doing a grand job with it. It's not broken - it doesn't need a fix. Competition for the sake of it.
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Robot69
Citizen

Robot69
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
22nd August 2012 at 12:13PM
e-petition for the Government to reconsider their decision to axe Virgin Trains from their franchise.

Please sign.
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Silenzi
Townsperson

Silenzi
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
22nd August 2012 at 12:14PM
There is an e-petition about it here:

Petition
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Silenzi
Townsperson

Silenzi
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
22nd August 2012 at 12:15PM
Great minds..!
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Robot69
Citizen

Robot69
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
22nd August 2012 at 12:27PM
lol

I got in first so feck off ;-)
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Robot69
Citizen

Robot69
Re: Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline
24th August 2012 at 4:21PM
Over 100K 'signatures' so it should get debated in the Commons now.
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