Apparently, Virgin Trains West Coast is planning to remove the first class quiet coach (Coach H) from its Pendolino trains. It has already been removed from its seating plan. The Virgin Trains website describes the "Quiet Zone" as providing the opportunity to "escape the madding crowd and work or relax in peace and quiet" (source). While it may not always be completely silent, the difference in noise levels is noticeable, particularly at weekends. State-run East Coast, back in 2011, introduced a first class quiet coach because "the majority of [our] first class customers support the idea of a Quiet Coach" (source). Virgin Trains, on the other hand, decides, without asking its customers, that it is acceptable to remove its first class quiet coach which has been around for over 10 years. Virgin Trains has a frequent habit of removing facilities that are popular with customers, the most recent example being the "East Coast Rewards" scheme. Insultingly, with East Coast Rewards, they pretended that customers supported the change and that the replacement (Nectar) was better! The change to the first class quiet coach was, I am led to believe, prompted by the conversion of Coach G from first class to standard class on the 9 car Pendolinos. I dislike the DfT's apparent preference for a mixture of train lengths on long distance train operators, as no matter how the trains are diagrammed there will always be services that are allocated trains which are too short and it eliminates consistency for passengers, but the reduction in the number of first class carriages from 4 to 3 isn't objectionable in itself. The conversion of Coach G leaves the number of first class seats as follows: 9 car Pendolino: Coach H (44) - Coach J (37) - Coach K (18) [Coach H used to be the Quiet Coach] East Coast Mall: Coach M (46) - Coach L (40) - Coach K (41) [Coach K is the Quiet Coach] East Coast HST: Coach M (48) - Coach L (47) - Coach J (17) [Coach J is the Quiet Coach] Considering that Coach H is now the largest first class carriage on the 9 car Pendolinos, it probably is excessive to have the entire carriage designated as as a quiet coach. But, as East Coast did with its HSTs, why not designate the smallest coast, Coach K, as the quiet coach? I personally don't upgrade to first class for a "better ambiance". I like to work when travelling, in peace, and for that purpose the ambiance in the non-quiet-coach first class carriages is usually worse than the standard class quiet coach. The problem with the standard class quiet coach on Pendolinos is that it is cramped and claustrophobic (like all of standard class on Pendolinos!) and there aren't enough tables or power sockets. These are the reasons for upgrading to first class. There is no "class divide" between first and standard class. The "class divide" is between the quiet coaches and the non-quiet-coaches: those who want to travel in peace and quiet, and those who don't. There is nothing wrong with imposing such a divide. It caters to different preferences. With the complete removal of the first class quiet coach, those passengers who want to travel in peace and quiet have a choice of: (i) travel in a noisy environment (especially at weekends) or (ii) travel in a quiet but cramped environment. Neither is particularly attractive, but considering the former is more expensive I think most people who find constant noise stressful will opt for the latter! Finally, so that this thread doesn't descend into a spiral of arguments which have already been done to death, this is not the thread to discuss whether we should have quiet coaches at all or whether we should have first class carriages at all. If you want to discuss these topics, create a new thread. I believe there is already a long-running thread on the latter topic. The purpose of this thread is to compare the approach taken by Virgin Trains West Coast with its former closest competitor - state-run East Coast - and to question whether the complete removal of the first class quiet coach is necessary (in the context of demand and capacity). Some discussion of the decision not to extend all Pendolinos to 11 carriages would also be welcome if it relates to the journey experience. Discussion could also be made of the lack of alternative operators. The free market is supposed to provide consumers with choice. In the case of train operators, I ask, what choice?