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East Coast Trains Ltd

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Driver068

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Hello all,

Im interested in the opportunities and what the future may hold with the emergance of First East Coast Trains. I have been looking into this open access proposal, which im lead to believe is going ahead from May 2021.

However im curious if this is the case as ive heard it may NOT be happening. Also as the Williams review incoming then would this be a factor in the operator existence or not?

I am also curious to how this progress from being on paper to a reality. For instance setting up depots, recruiting traincrew, are they going to be transferred from other members of first or would it be a whole new recruitment process.

Im relativly new to the rail industry and my knowledge is fairly limited. But im assuming it would be a GC set up.
Will be interesting to see what Depots/Signing on points would be used, example London and Newcastle and also would Heaton, Craigintinny be used to stable units over night.

Im sure the next 14 months or so will fly by so it must be a busy period to plan in advance for any potential open access operator.

Any thoughts or info would be appreciated.

Many thanks
 
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Driver068

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For clarity i mean similar to GC in terms of they dont have a depot as such but meet the train in Sunderland or pick up from Heaton
 

pdeaves

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Like for GC, First East Coast train maintenance will be contracted in; in this case from Hitachi at London Bounds Green and Edinburgh Craigentinny.
 

gimmea50anyday

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I suspect train crews will be borrowed or may transfer from TPE and HT utilising crews based at Newcastle, York and Kings Cross. There is certainly office space with both conductor and driver managers based at Newcastle and York, in house despatch staff again at Newcastle and York and the shared resources could help keep costs down. It is also likely control will be existing staff based in Manchester’s ROC who currently cover TPE and HT there anyway (GCs control is managed by XC control in Birmingham)

I may consider moving over myself if the pay and conditions are attractive...
 
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Just a thought; potential for the competition watchdog to interject on this given First’s existing monopoly in Scotland-London services?
 

gimmea50anyday

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Possibly, however the first east coast operation is tailoring itself to a specific market, airport traffic for example, hence stops at Morpeth and Stevenage, and the low cost coach travel (National Express, Megabus) by offering services from stations poorly served by LNER (so possibly Chester LE street for example) they may be able to play the no abstraction card and show that they are not in direct competition and therefore not a monopoly.
 

DoubleO

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Not for servicing trains they don't.

They have servicing locations close to both of their depots. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, they don't exactly just have staff and trains dumped randomly wherever they feel like it?! They have two staff depots and two maintenance locations.
 

Bletchleyite

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Just a thought; potential for the competition watchdog to interject on this given First’s existing monopoly in Scotland-London services?

As First doesn't operate LNER they don't have a monopoly, just a fairly insignificant 0.5 very slow TPH on the WCML to Edinburgh with no other commonality. (TPE is of no relevance to London-Edinburgh, nor are the WCML Glasgows really relevant as nobody is going to take one of those to go to Edinburgh).
 

Driver068

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I just want to clarify my meaning if i may.

Depot establishment for GC is slighlty different im lead to believe, they dont seem to have a office or physical sign on point, maybe im wrong but thats this difference im meaning.

GC stable trains at Heaton and Croft depots. Im wondering if this will be the same for First East Coast at their respective locations along the mainline

In terms of recruitment, i wonder if they will advertise for additional drivers or all drivers will be possibly transfered accross as previously mentioned.
 
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DoubleO

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I just want to clarify my meaning if i may.

Depot establishment for GC is slighlty different im lead to believe, they dont seem to have a office or physical sign on point, maybe im wrong but thats this difference im meaning.

GC stable trains at Heaton and Croft depots. Im wondering if this will be the same for First East Coast at their respective locations along the mainline

In terms of recruitment, i wonder if they will advertise for additional drivers or all drivers will be possibly transfered accross as previously mentioned.

GC have offices/signing on points at Sunderland and Bradford, and additional offices at York and Wakefield Kirkgate.
 

Roast Veg

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I suppose it comes down to whether the competition people have enough work at the moment or are looking for something to do!
The CMA typically interject when an operator has a high percentage of ownership on all modes of transport between two places. Typically this is only an issue for Govia/First/Stagecoach/Abellio when they first begin operating services between two places that they also run a bus between.
 

Edders23

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If I remember correctly when this was first put forward it was to be the "no frills" version of rail travel (Ryan air on rails)

As such it will be serving other destinations on the ECMl not the big stations much as the no frills airlines use out of the way regional airports so whilst it is competing on the tourist/student travel Edinburgh to London but not the business travel market so it would be sufficiently different to not be classed as direct competition

It will be interesting to see what the service actually looks like in reality and I suspect there will be some traffic taken away from airlines coaches and rail but without being able to link in to some of the major stops on the ECML that will be limited as only a portion is direct London Edinburgh travel
 

gimmea50anyday

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That is a sizeable market tho to be fair, back in my days with National Express and as a steward on the Durham Travel operated 591, the night service (22:30 VCS-EDB via Gilders Green, Milton Keynes and Berwick) very rarely ran without at least one duplicate, and when events were on such as fringe or the military tattoo would see more than 10 dupes operated.
The market will be interesting to see....
 

HH

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It looked a viable business proposition to me when the application was put to the ORR, unlike the loony tunes one from Grand Central. It is a slightly unfortunate acronym though...
 

Clarence Yard

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It's actually ECTL, without the F. FEC was not chosen, for obvious reasons but it would have been fun to name the trains after Father Ted, Father Dougal, Father Jack, etc and have Mrs Doyle look-a-likes operating the trolley!
 

Steve Harris

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The point is that you referred to train crew depots and Darandio pointed out that train maintenance depots are in different places. Different interpretation of the word 'depot'.

Back in the day, a depot would be for train maintenance, a signing on point would be for drivers and other staff to sign on for there shift. Lot easier to understand and less chance of confusion.
 

tbtc

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Do GC staff just start/finish shifts at Sunderland? If so, who takes the 180 from Heaton to Wearside? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

It's actually ECTL, without the F. FEC was not chosen, for obvious reasons but it would have been fun to name the trains after Father Ted, Father Dougal, Father Jack, etc and have Mrs Doyle look-a-likes operating the trolley!

I'd love that - presumably the socks on the staff uniform would be very very very very very dark blue?
 

Driver068

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Sunderland driver signs on at Heaton and takes it to Sunderland. Same as last one back from Kings Cross. However im not sure who takes the last set to/from Kings Cross to Ferme Park sidings as Sunderland drivers lodge or if its Kings cross crew.
 

DoubleO

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Sunderland driver signs on at Heaton and takes it to Sunderland. Same as last one back from Kings Cross. However im not sure who takes the last set to/from Kings Cross to Ferme Park sidings as Sunderland drivers lodge or if its Kings cross crew.

Sunderland crews have a lodge diagram for the Ferme Park jobs. There are no staff based at KGX.
 

Driver068

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Does anyone know what locations would be provided for train crew depots. I suppose Edinburgh, Newcastle and King's cross.
 
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