Virgin West Coast Open Access Application

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by andyj158, 11 Jun 2019.

  1. andyj158

    andyj158 Member

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    A possible development on the WCML...

    www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/could-soon-two-fast-london-16407336

     
    Last edited: 11 Jun 2019
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  3. superalbs

    superalbs Established Member

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    So as to comply with forum rules.
     
  4. CICERO55

    CICERO55 Member

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    Not sure if this would happen since virgin trains were refused in their request to operate more Liverpool to London trains from June this year by network rail. Also if it was to happen what trains would they use since they couldn’t use the current fleet used for the ICWC franchise.
     
  5. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    Rather ironic given the number of years a Virgin were protected from competition on the WCML, leading to the much higher fares on it compared to the ECML.
     
  6. TheDavibob

    TheDavibob Member

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    It got my hopes up about another service stopping at the principal Trent Valley stations, but of course reservations would limit opportunities for short hops (Nuneaton - Lichfield/Tamworth). Still would be a boon for Lichfield and Tamworth, which could easily support additional services, especially with consistent northbound opportunities beyond Crewe.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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  8. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    The same story is also being reported in The Times this morning.
     
  9. underbank

    underbank Established Member

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    I thought the southern reaches of the WCML were already full to capacity? Where are the paths coming from?
     
  10. pitdiver

    pitdiver Member

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    Perhaps are talking about when HS2 starts operating
     
  11. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Interesting Virgin have decided to use an Open Access route however it is a shame this service wont stop at MK where there is some real money to be made rather than small towns further north. Extracting revenue from the franchised operators seems to be the raison d'etre for OA services ( which we benefit from via fare competition) so why not go for the money. GC don't stop at York for fun!

    I am sure there will be lots of media/ RUK fanboying over this
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm assuming this will be Stagecoach with Virgin branding, and not a continuation of VRG?
     
  13. absolutelymilk

    absolutelymilk Established Member

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    It says starting in 2021, which means they would have be ordering new stock probably in the next few months, if not already - unless they are planning on using cascaded stock?
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It appears from the consortium that they would want to use spare Class 390s.

    Interesting that they are proposing compulsory reservations and presumably not taking part in RSP/ORCATS as a result. I've long wondered why an OAO didn't try that, it would be an interesting experiment.

    10% cheaper than LNR? I can see LNR calling them on that with some very cheap Advances, though the walk-ups are cheap enough! (LNR long distance walk ups are cheap enough that without seat reservations many people won't even consider Advances, so the impact on them of doing this might be low).
     
  15. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Was that the old application (Virgin West Coast) or the new application (open access operator)??
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The OAO as per the Echo article says so. Not the VTWC application.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Ha ha, ha ha, ha ha ha. Weren't they told to do that by DaFT?
     
  18. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    The only thing I can see an objection to is the amount of paths available thats it. LNWR’s Liverpool route is not exactly competitive though its Crewe service might be affected and WCP’s service calls at Stafford, Crewe, Runcorn and Liverpool Lime Street but Virgin’s Open Access service calls at: Nuneaton, Tamworth, Lichfield Trent Valley, Liverpool South Parkway and Liverpool Lime Street. WCP and Virgin only share Lime Street and Euston the rest is different. LNWR might be the only issue.
     
  19. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Thanks. How many 390’s are spare for an hourly service to operate?
     
  20. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    There are spare pendolinos? And if there are, wouldn't they be better used on some of the London-Birmingham-Glasgow workings that are currently run as Voyagers despite being on electric track the whole route?
     
  21. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    True but that’s upto the WCP operator from March 2020 not Virgin.
     
  22. ivanhoe

    ivanhoe Member

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    Interesting. Could give good connections to Leicester at Nuneaton and Derby,Burton at Tamworth. Man at seat 61 raises the interesting question of other operators tickets and Savers being made available on such services. Would it need DFT dispensation if it was Virgin only.
     
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    None now, but post HS2 there will be?
     
  24. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    This is 2021 not 2026 though so where are they coming from?
     
  25. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Of course. But it is a PR war ( part of their campaign to challenge the franchise decision) that they are well equipped to win considering the public are badly informed and very loyal to the brand.
     
  26. theshillito

    theshillito Member

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    I can confirm I generally don't bother getting advance tickets from Crewe to London any more, just walk up and get an off-peak or super off-peak return with LNWR.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Though at the minute I'm pushed back to VT by the poor reliability. And I was vindicated yesterday - the train I would have used had I used LNR was cancelled, though with a delay of minimum 1hr I would at least have got a nice big chunk of Delay Repay.
     
  28. island

    island Established Member

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    That is precisely what OAOs are not allowed to do. They need to show they will create new demand, not abstract revenue from an existing franchise.
     
  29. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    of course. GC have generated new demand from York. of course. They didn't just pinch passengers by being cheaper.
     
  30. GB71

    GB71 Member

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    I have been a long term sceptic of most things Virgin. Very ordinary by and large but with what has to be respected as a phenomenal brand and an unbelievable PR machine. I may well be proven wrong, but I suspect nothing but a PR stunt by Virgin. Good old Virgin the consumer's champion - knowing full well that they won't get to operate this either because of a lack of rolling stock or line capacity. And then we'll get the usual tirade of how Virgin are trying to challenge the status quo (which they've very happily been part of for over 20 years) and being blocked.

    I hope I am wrong but I now consider myself a professional sceptic of all things Virgin - trains or otherwise!
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Though fundamentally when you strip the glitz and talking bogs away, VTWC is a pretty solid operation these days. I do hope whoever replaces them doesn't do anything stupid pre-HS2 (c.f. WMT or Northern) and wreck it.
     

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