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. Realfish

    Realfish Member

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    VTEC approached DfT last June in an attempt to renegotiate their contract following projected losses.
     
  2. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    More complex with GNER as their early demise was to do with the wider financial problems of their parent company so they were unable to gurantee their performance bond.
     
  3. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    Would the RMT dare to launch strike action against a franchise in public ownership which would go against the idealogy that renationalisation would mean the end to any sort of discomfort for passengers?
     
  4. Pete268

    Pete268 Member

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    Just a quick query, only last week I was sent two complimentary 1st class VTEC tickets from VTEC after they completely messed up with reservations, then lost my complaint!

    I was hoping to use these tickets in July.

    The tickets say they are valid across the VTEC network, only on their trains, so do they become worthless when LNER take over (they are the scratch off on the day complimentary tickets)?. I appreciate if they were normal purchased tickets they would be valid with LNER, but what about Complimentary tickets?

    Many thanks.
     
  5. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Absolutely. People really don't care what it's called or what colour the trains or stations are painted in, which is the only difference passengers have seen when many franchises change - superfluous branding changes are meaningless.

    Exactly, I wrote something similar but deleted it when I said white roofs don't help with temperature (which I'm pretty sure they don't) - fleet numbers being visible from the air isn't a consideration anywhere else in the country.
     
  6. IainG81

    IainG81 Member

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    I wonder if WAGN services are more profitable than GNER. Does the express to Cambridge make more than the service to Edinburgh?

    As stated elsewhere the East Coast suffers from not having very large cities on route between Newcastle and London Kings Cross. Plenty of competition with Cross Country on the northern part of the route as well.
     
  7. ModernRailways

    ModernRailways Established Member

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    We've had a similar situation with Metro up here, pay rises are capped and as such strike action was very likely. A deal however has been made, so it's definitely possible for some form arrangement/agreement to happen.
     
  8. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    About as frequently as Labour have...it’s the system that’s at fault, not a particular party.
     
  9. mpthomson

    mpthomson Member

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    It’s not a political hypocrisy at all, it really isn’t...
     
  10. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    I used free tickets earned under the EC Rewards Scheme after the VTEC takeover. (IIRC, they were valid for 4 months or so after the takeover.) There's no reason to suppose that something similar won't apply to your tickets.
     
  11. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    Everything, including these, will be valid until original expiry date (someone asked them on Twitter).
     
  12. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Yes, of course, if a ballot of members was in favour.
     
  13. Pete268

    Pete268 Member

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    Many thanks.
     
  14. Pete268

    Pete268 Member

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    Many thanks. That is a relief.

    Must get around to learning about how to use this twittering thing!

    Thanks again.
     
  15. Roast Veg

    Roast Veg Member

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    I've seen suggestions both that the future of the ICEC franchise is to include the Kings Cross Great Northern commuter services as a financial aid, and that the franchise will puck up some infrastructure responsibilities as has been expressed as an interest of the DfT in the past.

    I don't see these possibilities happening together - which do we speculate is more likely if either?
     
  16. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    The idea of them managing the infrastructure seems undesirable to me. Thameslink will still be heavy users of the route, as will CrossCountry and TransPennine Express over hundreds of miles. Assorted others will use shorter streches but still with a significant number of trains, including Northern and ScotRail. Even with an addition of Kings Lynn and peak Peterborough services, LNER will still be a minority operator.

    Until the end of the GTR franchise, they will continue to be the operator who run the most trains on the route.
     
  17. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Given Thameslink services will have priority over others, it makes LNER even less important in terms of train movements. Today GN services are held all the time at Knebworth (or Welwyn Garden City) to use the viaduct, to let Intercity trains through. In theory, from May, the 9xxx trains will all 'jump the queue'.

    Good news for GN/TL passengers and perhaps one of the biggest changes from the new timetable to bring benefits!
     
  18. E6007

    E6007 Member

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    No, local services (WAGN) are not more profitable that inter city (GNER). It's just VTEC promised too much of their profits to the DfT for the 'privilege' of running the service
     
  19. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    One thing I'm very happy about is that we now have an operator subject to FoI again. This enabled the revelation of many documents we would not otherwise have had access to.

    One thing I'm not so happy about is the fact that, as Virgin no longer have their brand plastered all over it, no doubt we will see many more private prosecutions again.
     
  20. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    I do wonder if keeping it under public control until circa 2035 could be a good option. As the previous plan was to have the next franchise start early 2023, which would have been only be about 2 years of the alliance. Now it's likely to be 5.

    However, you are then into (say) a 7 year franchise, which takes you to 2030 when everything is back up in the air with HS2 phase 2 opening and changing the nature of rail travel for the East Coast Mainline (which is likely to make it a more comparable partner with the other services out of Kings Cross).

    Of course the Tories wouldn't like to have a TOC not being franchised out for 15-20 years, but that's another matter.
     
  21. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    I'm struggling to think about what documentation you could possibly want from them unless you had done something wrong whilst travelling with them and what you would actually do with it?

    Also why are you so against prosecutions? An out of court settlement is a cop out and if we had more prosecutions and more in the news about them then I'd imagine fare evasion would come down quite a bit don't you?


    Though I'm guessing the emails have been flying in about any rewards scheme and how they should scrap the nectar one already.
     
  22. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    North West Express.
    I should register that name...
     
  23. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    It seems the plan is to keep LNER as a permanent brand.
    The report yesterday said the brand would last "decades" so no further rebranding would be necessary if the operator changes.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    North West Regional Railways probably already did. Shall we paint it blue with a green stripe too, and fit some nice Chapman seats to some Class 156s to use? :)
     
  25. OxtedSignaller

    OxtedSignaller Member

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    Problem is the short sightedness that exists within the railway
    They say that every time however the DfT seems happy to make exceptions for Virgin. I just hope this doesn’t mean that every operator of East Coast is stuck to keeping the gharish Virgin red.
     
  26. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    Alas... https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/03007946


    This Companies House link to the NW Regional Railways entry does also show a warning about overdue accounts
     
  27. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I think both of those are related to the track+train "partnership" that Grayling wants to introduce c2020.
    The future operation (LNER TOC+NR LNE Route) will not be a franchise, but it will include private involvement.
    No, I don't know how it would work either!

    Including the GN operation is logical (but so was including it in Thameslink), but muddies the water as it will be difficult to compare LNER with past franchises.
    It's also a tussle between York ROC and Three Bridges ROC as to which one controls the southern ECML - at one time it was going to be Three Bridges.
    Grayling also wants to get private funding for NR ECML enhancements (eg flyovers, 4-tracking, ETCS) and LNER will probably be the vehicle for that.
     
  28. pdeaves

    pdeaves Established Member

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    Why not? There were plenty of strikes under BR (and in other nationalised companies).
     
  29. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    That's alright, it can be difficult to either convey or interpret the appropriate tone from an online post, I can see how you could reach that conclusion.
    I'm actually very much in favour of liveries that give reference to the heritage of a route or to a historical operator - It's something that I appreciate about the GWR and Southern identities, the latter in particular. What's important is that they do so in a contemporary context that respects the architecture of the trains they're applied to: I'd be very pleased to see a livery that incorporates into the design the silver grey of the Silver Jubilee train and the garter blue of the Coronation/A4s, not unlike the colour palette of the Silver Jubilee brochure posted previously.

    You're quite right that the services of the modern day East Coast franchise are the modern equivalents of the 1930s streamliners and named expresses, and it would be good if the brand did reflect that - It's something that GNER did very effectively with the "Route of the Flying Scotsman" tagline, while still appearing modern.
    I'm in full agreement with your opinion and expectations there.

    (Sorry folks for retreating back to livery froth in the face of more meaningful analysis and discussion, just wanted to wrap up a discussion from last night)
     
    Last edited: 17 May 2018
  30. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It's also worth recalling that they failed on the second franchise. Their first franchise was completed successfully (the only one to manage such a feat on Intercity East Coast as yet!).

    VTEC have competition with CrossCountry between York and Glasgow Central/Aberdeen, Transpennine Express between York and Newcastle (soon to be Edinburgh), Grand Central between Northallerton/Bradford/York/Doncaster and London, Hull Trains between Hull/Selby/Doncaster/Retford/Grantham/Stevenage and London. In the future there will also be First East Coast competing between Edinburgh/Morpeth/Stevenage and London!

    The ICEC franchise more than any other has competition not only for local or inter-regional journeys at the northern end of its route but also throughout it's length on what should be the most profitable sections and that competition is seemingly only going to get 'worse'. I thought it was interesting that Grayling was clearly all in favour of Open Access as in answer to a question from MPs he was crystal clear that Open Access would continue to be an important part of the railway. This despite the fact that it must be having a significant impact on the franchisees revenues.
     
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