East Coast franchise – direct award to LNER until 2025

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by JaJaWa, 10 Jul 2019.

  1. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    SIightly ironic in one way because if we imagine say the current GWR First Operation was given a direct award, and say the media were reporting it as GWR gets direct award, we'd be thinking well whoever runs it will probably be branding it GWR so GWR was going to be the name on the trains whatever.
     
  2. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Hmm? First Group decided to rebrand FGW to GWR themselves.
     
  3. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    Is GWR not a long term brand name for the Western Region operation then? Perhaps I am mistaken in thinking that.
     
  4. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Yes it is. But it is the trading name of the company so it is wrong to refer to them as GWR
     
  5. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    Long Buckby is right next to Rugby.
    Don't see many open access operators trying their luck there.

    Kings Norton is quite close to Birmingham.
    Don't see many open access operators trying their luck there either.
     
  6. class26

    class26 Member

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    Kings Norton is IN Birmingham
     
  7. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Plus Sunderland is a city Long Buckby is not. 174,000 people live there.
     
  8. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Sunderland only manages 100,000 more NR passengers* per year than Long Buckby, interestingly... (450k vs 350k)

    *Presumably excluding Tyne & Wear Metro passengers.
     
  9. s'land

    s'land Member

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    Sunderland used to have close to 1 million NR passenger's before the Metro arrived, the amount of NR services were dramatically reduced, although we do now have 6 return services a to London however we lost TPE to Liverpool and a lot of local services to Newcastle. I think the amount of services have recently been increased slightly, as until recently the last train from Newcastle was at @ 9.00pm now it's something like 11.00pm.
     
  10. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    I'd say that Sunderland's passenger figures look pretty respectable considering there's only really one train per hour in each direction most of the day (plus a handful of GC services) - and that train can be a 142 (best case scenario is a 156)!

    I can see why VTEC/LNER would think that a place of that size ought to get more services (as well as the positive PR and the chance to eat into GC's revenue) - it's just a shame that the improved Northern Rail services in the north east (doubling the frequency from Newcastle to Carlisle, doubling the frequency from Newcastle to Carlisle, extra services on the Whitby branch etc) means no real change for Sunderland, other than Pacer replacement (like the rest of the country), since the additional Newcastle - Middlesbrough services look to be running via Durham.
     
  11. GrimShady

    GrimShady Established Member

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    Great news. How about bringing the old website back? 8-)
     
  12. westv

    westv Established Member

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    Anybody know? Ta.
     
  13. Tyrion

    Tyrion Member

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    I currently work for LNER and if you kindly allow me a couple of thoughts..

    It is the same Management by and large but so far they have calmed down the rhetoric and seem to be more focused on the basics, they are perhaps not under as much pressure as they were under VTEC days and the turning up for the opening of an envelope has calmed down with the exception of the new Azuma services which to me is fair enough.

    There are rumours of additional services including more Aberdeens ( not sure if that is signalling related or XC related) and as previously noted possibly a new Stirling or as I heard it Perth service starting from 2021. This is speculation for clarity.

    Without going into the nationalisation etc debate and the fact I can’t speak from a customer point of view it has to be said what the staff have asked for is stability, there has been a lot of change over last 20 years and not all for the best. We for most part do our upmost to offer a great service and want to get back to a great atmosphere which I think is slowly coming back, giving someone else the keys quite quickly would in my opinion be a backward step at this time..

    Just a few thoughts from the inside and I hope we are left alone to get on with th job.

    Cheers
     
  14. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Speaking as a passenger this is something that I feel is coming across, at least to me, quite a bit. Yes it's the same management but there's a heck of a lot less of the utterly infuriating dross marketing speak and "corporate voice". LNER present a relatively laid back approach in a lot of their communications but not a silly and juvenile one. They look professional in their marketing and tone of voice even if they're not deadly serious. It's a much better balance than VTEC ever struck. Particularly once things started to fall apart a bit. It became incredibly annoying to be told how "AMAZING EVERYTHING IS" when it really wasn't...

    Again as a passenger this is something that feels like it's coming back quite strongly. Things seem to have settled into a pattern when good service is the norm. Catering is reliable. It's been ages since I've heard that there's no standard class trolley or they've run out of some sort of 1st class item. Staff generally seem a bit more chipper than they were towards the end of VTEC's tenure as well which seems to be translating into good customer service (though the staff never really dropped their standards that much under VTEC, it was mostly everything around them that seemed to dip!).

    I've been very impressed by LNER to be honest. It might be the same management but they seem to have settled well into delivering a good product consistently whilst also managing to strike a good tone of voice in the way they communicate with passengers. Long may it continue!!
     
  15. GrimShady

    GrimShady Established Member

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    As a regular LNER customer I fully agree with this statement. VTECs tenure was painful for staff and passenger alike. There is a drastic change in staff morale ever since their demise. If LNER can get is back to the East Coast days then I will be the first to cheer!

    Next on the hit list should be the dreadful VTEC catering menu which is woefully sub standard in comparison East Coasts.

    The sheer arrogance of VTEC was penultimately displayed in their fairwell email stating that they had left the business in a much better place than it it was under East Coast.

    I can't say I'm looking forward to the Class 800s however, my future as a customer will depend very much on the quality of the seating.
     
  16. northernchris

    northernchris Member

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    Agreed, from my experiences LNER are the best operator the ECML has had. Although they do have a bit of an unfair advantage on the private operators in that they don't have to pay as much in premiums
     
  17. westv

    westv Established Member

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    East Coast had Rewards and an online fares discount. LNER just has rubbish Nectar.
     
  18. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That of course was a VTEC "innovation"....

    Though maybe we might get lucky and eventually they'll ditch Nectar for a more effective loyalty scheme.
     
  19. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    True. But let's not slip into thinking that LNER is in any way 'state run'. The mystery operator of last resport is a private company, (as discussed earlier on this thread) so LNER is exactly the same as any other TOC in that respect. The financial arrangements are more of a mystery (secret?) perhaps, and almost certainly far less onerous for the operator SNC Latavin. I can't find any reference to LNER on the SNC Latavin website, but if anyone knows any more, please share.
     
  20. AndrewNewens

    AndrewNewens Member

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    Sorry it's SNC Lavalin....... where's the spell checker when you need it?
     
  21. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Currently, effectively, the large amounts of subsidy to Network Rail are being used to pay for enhancements.

    Across all the TOC's there's something like £178 million in subsidy for the day to day running of the network.
     

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