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Over 1 Month to go for WCML Franchise announcentme

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IanXC

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On the stations front, those that are shared with other Operators are I presume managed by Network Rail so it is up to all operators to bash.... oops I meant thrash it out with Network Rail.

Only the really major ones like Birmingham New Street, London Euston and Glasgow Central are Network Rail managed. Smaller stations with just as many operators are TOC managed. The 7 of the 10 worst stations refers to managed stations.
 
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RailUK Forums

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On the stations front, those that are shared with other Operators are I presume managed by Network Rail so it is up to all operators to bash.... oops I meant thrash it out with Network Rail.

Refreshing 1960's WCML stations can be done, it just takes some imagination to do it and get the local community involved in helping to do it as well.

The same problem exists all over the network, it isn't something Virgin care about. GNER for example did the deal to have costa franchises on the network. This is despite share the likes of Doncaster and Grantham with other operators. Not sure if there is a revenue share but it was good for passengers. Waiting rooms were also refurbished and other companies take advantage of this investment.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Only the really major ones like Birmingham New Street, London Euston and Glasgow Central are Network Rail managed. Smaller stations with just as many operators are TOC managed. The 7 of the 10 worst stations refers to managed stations.

I think to put it simply, it was not a franchise commitment for VT to upgrade stations, the investment was all about trains and journey times.
Later franchises tended to have some station investment included.
Also in the WCRM debacle the optional bits were cut back (eg rebuilding Watford Jn).
Crewe has been in planning blight for years waiting for a decision on relocation, but at least it now has a new roof.
There are indeed some grim VT stations, but others have done reasonably well. They invested in car parks for instance.
Many stations have recently had "a new bit on the side" added (eg Stockport, Warrington BQ, Stoke) while the main buildings are unchanged.

It's a paradox that VT's flagship stations are mostly run by Network Rail.
I guess Preston is the largest managed by VT itself, and that is quite a nice station to be in although now in need of upgrade.

Other TOCs stations like Exeter St Davids and Colchester have been neglected by their TOCs just as much.
I should think the new WC franchisee will be putting a priority on station upgrades.
 

WatcherZero

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Whoever wins the West Coast besides finishing the lengthening program it wont be on pledges of extra or replacement rolling stock, it will be on pledges of station investment.
 

WestCoast

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The majority of Virgin managed stations are neglected. Granted, they weren't blessed with the most architecturally stunning facilities in many caes, but the public areas, toilets and waiting rooms at places like Wigan North Western are a bit embarrassing for an operator that boasts about quality.
 

All Line Rover

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The majority of Virgin managed stations are neglected. Granted, they weren't blessed with the most architecturally stunning facilities, but the public areas, toilets and waiting rooms at places like Wigan North Western are a bit embarrassing.

Wigan? I was very impressed by the toilet facilities there. They appeared to have been recently refurbished and have an intercom system where you need to show your train ticket to enter. It helps to keep them in a much better state.
 

WestCoast

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Wigan? I was very impressed by the toilet facilities there. They appeared to have been recently refurbished and have an intercom system where you need to show your train ticket to enter. It helps to keep them in a much better state.

I visited prior to refurbishment and they were dire (for an intercity station), and they were in that state for a long period of time. I am surprised that they finally did something about it...

Stations are very much part of the package in my view, even if the general public don't automatically assume that Virgin is responsible at some stations for management and upkeep.
 
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rail-britain

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There have been some station refurbishments, certainly not none

Examples (and I am quite sure there are more) :
Milton Keynes Central
A new lift was installed

Runcorn
£650,000 investment

Preston
Ticket Office refurbished
New dedicated Customer Information Office
CCTV renewed
Customer information system replaced
Subway refurbishment (separate scheme)

Crewe
First Class Lounge
CCTV renewed
Toilets refurbished
Customer information system replaced
Ticket Office refurbished

Warrington Bank Quay
More than £1m scheme, £700,000 by Virgin Trains
Ticket Office rebuilt
Remodelled station frontage
CCTV renewed

Stockport
Ticket Office rebuilt
Subway refurbished
Toilets rebuilt
CCTV renewed

However, these are all just the fabric items which the customers see
No mention of actual platforms / concourses
 

All Line Rover

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Crewe
First Class Lounge
CCTV renewed
Toilets refurbished
Customer information system replaced
Ticket Office refurbished

I've no knowledge of the other improvements you mention but most, if not all, of the funding for the First Class lounge at Crewe came from Cheshire East council, not Virgin. The refurbishment of the toilets was also done to a poor standard as they are again in dire straits.

The one thing Virgin did invest in was the car park (albeit significantly funded through massive increases in the daily parking charge - now £8 a day on weekdays).
 

rail-britain

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I've no knowledge of the other improvements you mention but most, if not all, of the funding for the First Class lounge at Crewe came from Cheshire East council, not Virgin. The refurbishment of the toilets was also done to a poor standard as they are again in dire straits.
Crewe station improvements :
http://mediaroom.virgintrains.co.uk/2009/11/let-us-improve-our-stations-says-sir.html
Virgin Trains didn't release a separate press release specifically for Crewe and/or funding sources
I only included it as they operate Crewe station, so from a passeger point of view it is a benefit and project managed by Virgin Trains
 

WatcherZero

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These kind of small £1m investments though are part of their upkeep responsibility maintaing the stations in the condition to which they took them over and there will be financial penalties for not (akin to losing your deposit), thats why you are seeing a sudden rush of them as the franchise end approaches. Its not really any different to the improvements Northern finances and again is maintenence rather than investment to improve patronage.
 

TomJ93

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Nothing wrong with Coventry, Virgin keep it nice and tidy. Though if NR would allow the footbridge to the park to be changed it would save me a few minutes!
 

The_Rail_WAy

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Will, and in my opinion shoul go to Virgin. They've done a great job and should be allowed to continue to do so.
 

WatcherZero

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Wigan? I was very impressed by the toilet facilities there. They appeared to have been recently refurbished and have an intercom system where you need to show your train ticket to enter. It helps to keep them in a much better state.

No wonder you were impressed, they were only refurbed a few weeks ago and the current minor station improvements still ongoing. They seem to have been working on the platforms forever.
 
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I live in Macclesfield which is a Virgin Station and I use them as they have the cheaper fares from Macc to Manchester then XC and Northern so would be very sad to see them not get it.
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
no experience of Wigan, but Warington BQ was grim til the work was done as were some others.
All Crewes bogs really need is a good clean and a 30p charge - if I0had my way all station bogs would have this to discourage abuse/encourage upkeep.
Wish they'd tart up the ones at Carlisle.
 

HH

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The one thing Virgin did invest in was the car park (albeit significantly funded through massive increases in the daily parking charge - now £8 a day on weekdays).

This was done on the RAB, so it's NR money. VT just pay an additional "Lease" (LTC) which will pass to the next Operator.
 
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