First Trenitalia (Avanti!) WCML branding, naming and livery

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mde

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The categories in the Avanti trademark registered by First (UK00003387232) are certainly quite wide ranging, but, classes 35, 39 and 45 suggest the name is definitely not just for the trains themselves (class 12)…

Class 12
Trains; passenger trains; freight trains; railway carriages; electric trains; rail vehicles; steam locomotives; parts for trains; parts for rail vehicles; parts and fittings for all the aforementioned; all of the aforementioned excluding tyres.
Class 35
Business management and administration; business administration, management and operation of railway stations and rail depots; advertising and promotional services, also provided over the internet and websites; retail services, including via the internet and websites, connected with the sale of badges of metal for rail vehicles, jewellery and jewellery cases, bracelets, brooches, badges of precious metal, horological and chronometric instruments, clocks, watches, stopwatches, watch straps, watch cases, coins, medals, cuff links, tie pins and tie clips, paper articles, cardboard articles, books, printed publications, printed matter, charts, photographs, maps, timetables, tickets, cards, postcards, articles of luggage, suitcases, trunks, bags, purses, wallets, key cases, umbrellas, textile goods, curtains, bed covers, bedding, table cloths, tea towels, kitchen towels, hand towels, clothing, footwear, headgear, belts, ties, bow ties, button badges and badges for wear, carpets, rugs, mats, wallpaper and wall hangings, meat, fish, poultry and game, meat extracts, preserved, frozen, dried and cooked fruits and vegetables, jellies, jams, compotes, eggs, milk and milk products, edible oils and fats, coffee, tea, cocoa and artificial coffee, rice, tapioca and sago, flour and preparations made from cereals, bread, pastry and confectionery, ices, sugar, honey, treacle, yeast, baking-powder, salt, mustard, vinegar, sauces (condiments), spices, ice, sandwiches, beers, mineral and aerated waters and other non-alcoholic beverages, fruit beverages and fruit juices, syrups and other preparations for making beverages, alcoholic beverages (except beers), wines, sparkling wines; advisory, consultancy and information services relating to all the aforesaid services; none of the aforesaid relating to the gas or utilities industries; all the aforesaid services being in connection with rail travel, rail transportation, railways, railway stations, rail depots, rail vehicles and the operation of train services.

Class 39
Rail transportation services; transportation of passengers and of goods; delivery and storage of goods; courier services; travel agency services, also provided over the internet and websites; booking and reservation services, also provided over the internet and websites; timetable, travel and tourist information services, also provided over the internet and websites; arranging and conducting of tours and sightseeing; escorting of travellers; rail depot and railway station transportation services; operation of railway stations; passenger, luggage, cargo and freight handling services; railway train and carriage rental, leasing and chartering service; advisory, consultancy and information services relating to all the aforesaid services; none of the aforesaid relating to the gas or utilities industries.

Class 45
Lost property services.
 
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R

RailUK Forums

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Is that logo on a white train going to get people excited the way waiting for a Virgin Train did?
I beg to ask what sort of people you might be thinking of? Nobody I know or travel with ever gets excited about any particular train or logo. As long as it gets there on time, is reasonably clean and comfortable, and is not full of selfish ignorant people, not much else matters. In the real world, most people don't even notice whose train it is, let alone care. I stand corrected by all those who were excited at waiting for a Virgin train, who soon will not have that pleasure.
 

Jorge Da Silva

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The categories in the Avanti trademark registered by First (UK00003387232) are certainly quite wide ranging, but, classes 35, 39 and 45 suggest the name is definitely not just for the trains themselves (class 12)…

Azuma is also trademarked and is used on the side of trains. I suspect Avanti could be the name of the trains. London Midland & Scottish have been trademarked since November 2017
 

J4mez

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Are their actually any pendolinos left with virgin branding on the outside? I have seen 6 pendolinos at or passing through stafford today. All were debranded
I seen two in the flowing silk livery yesterday when I was in Carlisle but I also seen a few plain ones two, unfortunately I didn’t see their numbers.
 

Hadders

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I beg to ask what sort of people you might be thinking of? Nobody I know or travel with ever gets excited about any particular train or logo. As long as it gets there on time, is reasonably clean and comfortable, and is not full of selfish ignorant people, not much else matters. In the real world, most people don't even notice whose train it is, let alone care. I stand corrected by all those who were excited at waiting for a Virgin train, who soon will not have that pleasure.

I disagree. A few years ago I arranged to meet some friends in Edinburgh, they travelled on a VTWC service from Penrith. They were excited to have travelled on a Virgin Pendolino. They weren't kids, or rail enthusiasts, just normals.

Don't underestimate the power of a brand.
 

pt_mad

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I beg to ask what sort of people you might be thinking of? Nobody I know or travel with ever gets excited about any particular train or logo. As long as it gets there on time, is reasonably clean and comfortable, and is not full of selfish ignorant people, not much else matters. In the real world, most people don't even notice whose train it is, let alone care. I stand corrected by all those who were excited at waiting for a Virgin train, who soon will not have that pleasure.
Seriously, there are still leisure travelers who can be heard saying 'the Virgin ones are the best' and 'is that one a Virgin one?'.
Granted as I say it's mainly leisure and weekend travelers.
It was far more prevalent when the Pendolino was first introduced and there was a genuine admiration for it and people did want to know if it was a Virgin one.
 

Hadders

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I’ve lost count of the people I hear that still think Virgin operate Cross Country, such is the strength of the brand.
 

EE Andy b1

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I’ve lost count of the people I hear that still think Virgin operate Cross Country, such is the strength of the brand.

Which i bet First Trenitalia are banking on, continuing the popularity of travellers on the back of the Virgin brand whether it's visible or not because they don't have the best reputation, but that could all change!:o
 

King Pran

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Hi, this is my first post here but I think I have some observations even though I think some have already been mentioned. Yesterday, I was speaking to one of the ladies running the First Class service and she did indicate a new name being Avanti, however it isn't known wether that will be the name of the consortium or the final brand. I presume the brand would have some Italian flare to it which is why LMS seems a bit unlikely in my opinion, especially from what I've heard from staff.

Avanti doesn't even sound too bad when you have Avanti, and say, Avanti High Speed (Like what Southeastern do on HS1).

Also some observations though some have already been mentioned. On unit 390043, a de-liveried unit, the toilets which used to have a Virgin hot air balloon have been covered by another hot air balloon in plain red which seems like an interim solution to de-Virgin the trains before the new operator.

In addition to this, the First Class menus have been changed and there is absolutely no indication at all of Virgin or First Trenitalia but I think these menus are here to last as I doubt it would make much financial or environmental sense to print a new set of menus that will be replaced in less than a month. The new menus are more minimalist than the previous Virgin ones and have less flare which may suggest a slightly more 'plain' branding and blue may have a major play in the new corporate colours.

I’ve lost count of the people I hear that still think Virgin operate Cross Country, such is the strength of the brand.

Virgin Trains, in fact all the companies in the Virgin Group just have very strong, recognisable and distinctive brands that its hard to escape! I still think even after Virgin Trains finishes, people will probably still call the new operator Virgin Trains!
 

Trackman

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I’m not entirely convinced this will be the actual customer facing name. IMO this will be the new company name and they will have a trading name.

Like how West Midlands Trains is the TOC / Company name and West Midlands Railway / London Northwestern Railway are the trading names.

This then allows them to have 2 distinct brands for the classic west coast services and then something different for when HS2 starts

Just had a look at the Companies House website, First Trenitalia West Coast Limited is registered.
 

Bletchleyite

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Just had a look at the Companies House website, First Trenitalia West Coast Limited is registered.

But then the company behind LNR/WMR is "West Midlands Trains Ltd", if I recall correctly, not "wmtraiiins" (which I know they have now dropped). And there's a load of bus companies whose limited company name is one of the traditional ones and not what they trade as, even at the second level (though I still mourn the passing of the "United Counties Omnibus Co., Ltd." which was lost at a Stagecoach restructure a few years ago).
 

ashkeba

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I’ve lost count of the people I hear that still think Virgin operate Cross Country, such is the strength of the brand.
If you ran the current XC's abused Turbostars would you admit it?
 

3141

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I disagree. A few years ago I arranged to meet some friends in Edinburgh, they travelled on a VTWC service from Penrith. They were excited to have travelled on a Virgin Pendolino. They weren't kids, or rail enthusiasts, just normals.

Don't underestimate the power of a brand.

I think it’s just habit. Same as you might still say “First Great Western”. If they’re really referring to Virgin Cross Country because of the “strength of the brand” and they haven’t noticed that Arriva took over twelve years ago, then perhaps things aren’t as bad as the criticisms frequently made on these forums claim they are.

Everyone has a story about what somebody has said, which supports their point of view. I looked forward to my first journey on a Pendolino (though I wasn’t “excited” about it), not because it was operated by Virgin but because it was a new type of train and tilting was an innovative technology.

The thing that has distinguished Virgin from most other operators is that it’s a brand that had been well-known in other fields for many years before it started running trains. The big reasons for being so well known are the individual who runs it and, in the case of VT, the style and quantity of its publicity. There’s no other figure in the rail industry like Richard Branson. Possible rivals such as Christopher Garnett, Adrian Shooter or Brian Souter have certainly made an impact but are much less colourful. Even if the Stagecoach/SNCF bid had been successful the input of Virgin would have been less, and as neither First Trenitalia nor any of the other bidders have anything like the background that Virgin had it's inevitable that the new operation will be more ordinary, at least until HS2 opens.
 

pt_mad

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I think it’s just habit. Same as you might still say “First Great Western”. If they’re really referring to Virgin Cross Country because of the “strength of the brand” and they haven’t noticed that Arriva took over twelve years ago, then perhaps things aren’t as bad as the criticisms frequently made on these forums claim they are.

Everyone has a story about what somebody has said, which supports their point of view. I looked forward to my first journey on a Pendolino (though I wasn’t “excited” about it), not because it was operated by Virgin but because it was a new type of train and tilting was an innovative technology.

The thing that has distinguished Virgin from most other operators is that it’s a brand that had been well-known in other fields for many years before it started running trains. The big reasons for being so well known are the individual who runs it and, in the case of VT, the style and quantity of its publicity. There’s no other figure in the rail industry like Richard Branson. Possible rivals such as Christopher Garnett, Adrian Shooter or Brian Souter have certainly made an impact but are much less colourful. Even if the Stagecoach/SNCF bid had been successful the input of Virgin would have been less, and as neither First Trenitalia nor any of the other bidders have anything like the background that Virgin had it's inevitable that the new operation will be more ordinary, at least until HS2 opens.


This advert seems to sum up the type of hype VT wanted to create over their brand and trains. It's not an advert advertising convenient commuter times or good value fares, it's more about the romance and excitement of the train itself.
 

Energy

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Virgin operate long distance journeys which require a bit different marketing, for example Glasgow to London is also competing with airplanes, people going this distance will probably do more planning than they would on a 20 minute journey so increased trains per hour is certainly good but virgin wouldn't highlight that they have say 1tph instead of 0.75tph as much as the service because people plan which service they are getting on in comparison to a train to Birmingham on LNWR when they are really frequent so a large amount of people will just get the next train at a given time. I'll be interested to see Avanti's marketing...

Also I mentioned on the refubishment forum that maybe they just make an economy+ instead of first class once HS2 opens, what do people think on the branding side, if people will be happy to pay an extra say 30% of a standard fair on top of a standard fair for extra plug sockets and priority on wifi?
 

dosxuk

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It's not an advert advertising convenient commuter times or good value fares, it's more about the romance and excitement of the train itself.

Virgin don't run trains for commuters, or simply to provide good value fares, so it's not surprising they didn't emphasise those in their adverts. They are a long distance operator, competing with air and coach.

I think some of the younger members must have missed out on how poorly the Virgin brand was received initially, and the introduction of the Pendo's was pretty much a make-or-break situation. The early 2000's were a particularly bad time with the press calling for them to have their franchise revoked.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I think some of the younger members must have missed out on how poorly the Virgin brand was received initially, and the introduction of the Pendo's was pretty much a make-or-break situation. The early 2000's were a particularly bad time with the press calling for them to have their franchise revoked.

Not helped by the massive disruption of WCRM and the national gauge-corner-cracking crisis.
It turned out the franchise for West Coast could not be revoked/relet (unlike Cross-Country), but it became a management contract for 5 years or so.
 

Goldfish62

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Virgin don't run trains for commuters, or simply to provide good value fares, so it's not surprising they didn't emphasise those in their adverts. They are a long distance operator, competing with air and coach.

I think some of the younger members must have missed out on how poorly the Virgin brand was received initially, and the introduction of the Pendo's was pretty much a make-or-break situation. The early 2000's were a particularly bad time with the press calling for them to have their franchise revoked.
Indeed. It seemed at the time they were deliberately running down the existing stock to make the Pendolinos and Voyagers look better when they were eventually introduced.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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This is what concerns me. On Virgin Trains and Virgin Trains East Coast they have been so 100% focused on style and a classy and enjoyable customer experience.

First Group on the other hand, aren’t focused on that. They’re focused on cram cram cram cram as many people into the train as possible, rip out all the amenities and comfort and shove more seats in, even if you can barely move when you’re wedged in there. Just like South Western Railway’s downgrade of first, and removal of Travelling Chef and attempt to downsize the full buffet to microbuffet on HST. Not to mention the “ram them in” strategy that takes Portsmouth services from adequate 158s to unpleasant stick thin seat Turbos.
 

Mogz

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That Virgin ad also made it look like standard class Pendolino carriages were reasonably spacious with plenty of tables. False advertising?
 

bengley

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That Virgin ad also made it look like standard class Pendolino carriages were reasonably spacious with plenty of tables. False advertising?
Looks fairly accurate to me. It was filmed on a pendolino after all...

(I have just noticed the shot with all tables in standard. Hmm...)
 

sufian123

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That Virgin ad also made it look like standard class Pendolino carriages were reasonably spacious with plenty of tables. False advertising?

it did didn’t it? I’m presuming they shot table seats and are spacious when in reality they ain’t.
 
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This advert seems to sum up the type of hype VT wanted to create over their brand and trains. It's not an advert advertising convenient commuter times or good value fares, it's more about the romance and excitement of the train itself.
I actually thought that was a great advert much better than the arrive awesome which is just cringeworthy. But yes very virgin and probably not cheap to make! LNER advertise on telly so I would imagine Avanti will also.
 
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