Virgin Trains East Coast franchise to end 24 June 2018 and is temporarily re-nationalised

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by FManc, 29 Nov 2017.

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  1. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    To do with advising on staffing and how to allow them to share in the successes of the operation. They were previously MD of John Lewis which I assume is know for such things.
     
  2. diffident

    diffident Member

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    This was my immediate thought too when I saw his name appear... He has a large metropolitan area to run which has nothing to do with this franchise area - so what's it got to do with him??

    I would think the voters and ratepayers of the West Midlands will have something to say about him doubtlessly going on salary at a government run company that has nothing to do with his mayoralty.
     
  3. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Given that defaulting on the East Coast Franchise in 2009 effectively caused National Express to exit the railway market in this country I wonder what the consequences will be for Stagecoach and Virgin. Given the West Coast Main Line and East Midlands Franchises are already up for tender I don't think the DfT will end the franchises early like what happened with National Express East Anglia.

    I think its fairly likely now that Stagecoach won't retain the East Midlands Franchise in 2019 and also fairly likely that Stagecoach/Virgin/SCNF won't win the West Coast Partnership in 2019.

    All of this is kind of ironic as in 2012 when Virgin Trains lost their West Coast Franchise to First Group Sir Richard Branson criticised the government saying that "We did not want to risk letting everybody down with almost certain bankruptcy at some time during the franchise, as happened to GNER and National Express who overbid on the East Coast mainline,". Who would have thought that 6 years later the same thing would happen to a company he was involved with on the East Coast Main Line.
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It was the East Coast Mainline Co that was sold to VTEC, and which no doubt will become the vehicle that is branded LNER.
    DOR (a group of DfT paid consultants) was wound up after VTEC started.
    OLR will also be DfT paid consultants (hired from the different consortium partners) at the usual high daily rate (with profit).
    They are not there to take risks, just to deliver the service.
    The question really is what kind of "service agreement" they will get (performance, service enhancements, bonuses etc).
    They will just run LNER, deduct the costs and pass the balance on to DfT, as DOR did.

    DfT has published this analysis on the comparison between a VTEC direct award and using OLR.
    Financially they are about even.
    What seems to have swung Grayling to OLR is that Stagecoach/Virgin are now out of the planning loop for the future partnership.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/east-coast-train-operator-assessment
     
  5. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    Interesting how Grayling made mention of the lower bidder in the SW franchise won the award, spinning it as the DFT making changes. Has this been a Stagecoach bidding policy for some time?
     
  6. Emblematic

    Emblematic Member

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    These are all relatively small amounts in context though - Andrew Adonis reportedly lost a similar amount by refusing the negotiation offer from NXEC and forcing the default instead. And each franchise bid costs £5-10 million per bidder, so maybe £20-40 million per franchise. All of which the taxpayer and fare payer eventually pays for.
     
  7. JWB_

    JWB_ Member

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    I'm sure I'll be joining the majority by saying I'm happy that the east coast is being renationalised (at least temporarily). Within the next year I'm going to have to use the ECML a lot more than before and I'm hoping the nationalisation will bring cheap tickets with it. If the prices are similar or cheaper than TP Express and Cross Country then I will aim to use LNER as much as I can.

    Also isn't the branding released today awesome. There's something about using the old train company names which are very satisfying. GWR liveries look really nice and I'm sure the LNER class 800's will look very similar, just in red.
     
  8. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    Big question ... will they re-paint all the trains lol
     
  9. JWB_

    JWB_ Member

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    If there going with red branding then it shouldn't take much work to get rid of all the Virgin logo's. Luckily the change has probably come just in time so they can make sure all the new class 800's are properly branded before use at the end of the year
     
  10. Mainline421

    Mainline421 Member

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    You will be disappointed. Best we can hope for is return of EC rewards.
     
  11. mullac30

    mullac30 Member

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    Something we might see next month....
    lner.PNG
     
  12. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    More importantly he used to run John Lewis.
     
  13. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    As previously mentioned. Everything in the design is property of Virgin so it will all have to come off. Maybe even the Red colour itself?
     
  14. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Some people post absolute nonsense on this forum.
     
  15. CC 72100

    CC 72100 Established Member

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    Why do you think nationalisation will bring cheap tickets with it? Operationally and from a customer perspective I doubt very much will change at all.
     
  16. Robertj21a

    Robertj21a Established Member

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    Ha Ha, good luck with that hope !!
     
  17. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    There's no paint involved with the current fleets as far as I am aware, just vinyl, so I imagine it'll just be a case of new stickers over the Virgin specific elements of the livery (or removal of same) until they go off lease. The new class 800 and 801 trains will no doubt sport the full LNER brand as they enter service, which could potentially see a move away from the Virgin red base towards an individual identity to be maintained in perpetuity (Or at least until the current fad for franchise neutral liveries comes to an end).
     
    Last edited: 16 May 2018
  18. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    I'm with the other posters above with regards to the livery being the property of Virgin, i'd expect them to now become really arsey and want it removed, as is their right. I reckon all Virgin vinyls will be removed, rumour has it that there is some silver under there. :lol:
     
  19. 385001

    385001 Member

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    Worth noting that Virgin/Stagecoach won't have a monopoly on Edinburgh/Glasgow to London now.

    I don't expect cheap tickets but hopefully competition between different operators can do something.
     
  20. DanDaDriver

    DanDaDriver Member

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    I think this is what most uninformed people think of when they hear the dog whistle of “nationalisation.”

    Conveniently forgetting who actually specifies the majority of things for the franchise in the first place...
     
  21. Emblematic

    Emblematic Member

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    Hang on - the onus is on VTEC to hand back the fleet debranded, in a fit state for the incoming operator to use. If they want the branding removed they had better get peeling vinyl (and going by this video, getting the paint brushes out if they want all the red gone.) They can get as arsey as they like, debranding is their problem alone.
     
  22. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    I haven't really read the full details of everything yet, i've just got back in. My post was mainly in response to the suggestion that stock could be running around in the Virgin livery/colours.
     
  23. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    It had also occurred to me that the current fleets might be stripped back to the East Coast grey base, which I believe was the last time they were painted! Despie what I've said, I wouldn't actually be surprised if Virgin did insist on removal of ALL their vinyl wrapping - It is very distinctive, and was commissioned entirely independently by the franchisee. I'd still expect only minimal branding to be applied to the HST and 225 fleets, though.

    Quite amusing that Virgin no long get to claim credit for introducing "their" wondrous new IEP trains, which will now be introduced to service essentially by an arms length construct of DfT, who are in fact responsible for specifying and ordering them! :lol:
     
  24. Non Multi

    Non Multi Member

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    Proper vertically integrated nationalisation would surely involve a department of Network Rail running passenger trains...

    What could possibly go wrong?
     
  25. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    I am surprised your quoting a post from November! The Guardian and Mirror are left wing. The Independent (website) is centralist / liberal, The i attempts to be politically neutral and The Times, Telegraph, Mail, Express and Sun are right wing. People are not forced to buy them over the two left wing papers. The right wing ones have more readers and influence because more people chose to buy them instead of The Guardian or Mirror.
     
  26. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Oh, so it appears that there was an element of repainting involved, my apologies for getting that wrong: Albeit seemingly only partial and somewhat slapdash; it seems there's a dog's dinner of NXEC and elements of VTEC livery hidden under those vinyls!
     
  27. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    There is normally a 3 month window for de-branding.
    It will be going some to do it all in 6 weeks, including building a new web site and booking engine.
    All it needs on the trains is a temporary ownership sticker.
    Stagecoach have said they will cooperate fully with the transition.
    VTEC's decisions on IEP styling might take a little longer to change, however.
     
  28. Emblematic

    Emblematic Member

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    It does make you wonder - we just see one power car, were the rest done like that? How about the 91s and DVTs? It's entirely possible that just one was painted this thoroughly for the video. We should find out shortly...
     
  29. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    Where is this stated please? Just had a read of part of the documentation released today and it claims that the OLR will immediately bear the significant cost of replacing previous branding.
     
  30. diffident

    diffident Member

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    This I don't deny, however the people of the West Midlands pay him £79,000 a year (Circa £96,000 after expenses etc) to run the West Midlands Combined Authority - which already includes overseeing Transport for West Midlands.

    We're getting into the realms of second jobs, which didn't go well for Members of Parliament not so long ago.

    He might be an experienced business executive, but he ran for Mayor, became Mayor, and that's his job - full time.
     
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