Virgin West Coast Open Access Application

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ainsworth74

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This isn't the thread to discuss the award of the West Coast Partnership nor on any future rolling stock on the West Coast Partnership. Please get back onto the topic.
 

Edders23

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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.

I think there might be a few class 91's and mk4's that could be saved from the scrapyard
 

LNW-GW Joint

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If Virgin use IC225 sets it will only be until Alstom produces a new (probably tilting) train for the WCML.
Neither Alstom nor SNCF will be interested in running old BR stock long term as a secondary operator (even if "Alstom" built it in the first place).
 

pt_mad

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With regards to this application, how long is it likely to take for the ORR to give their decision? Will other stakeholders have to be consulted?

Is it known for sure the train stock which is being proposed? The quote the opening poster has posted seems to suggest the trains will be the 'most advanced'. Does this suggest new build stock? Could it be Polaris trains or a new build tilting stock from Alstom perhaps?

Would the trains have to be taken on by a ROSCO? Would there be firm guarantees on their use if the application was only approved until say HS2 as a complete example?
 

swt_passenger

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With regards to this application, how long is it likely to take for the ORR to give their decision? Will other stakeholders have to be consulted?

Is it known for sure the train stock which is being proposed? The quote the opening poster has posted seems to suggest the trains will be the 'most advanced'. Does this suggest new build stock? Could it be Polaris trains or a new build tilting stock from Alstom perhaps?

Would the trains have to be taken on by a ROSCO? Would there be firm guarantees on their use if the application was only approved until say HS2 as a complete example?
It says in the VT press release (linked from post #128) that the “service” will be the most advanced, not the trains as such. The PR there is all about the booking system, with a seat for everyone, as proposed by them recently.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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With regards to this application, how long is it likely to take for the ORR to give their decision? Will other stakeholders have to be consulted?
Is it known for sure the train stock which is being proposed? The quote the opening poster has posted seems to suggest the trains will be the 'most advanced'. Does this suggest new build stock? Could it be Polaris trains or a new build tilting stock from Alstom perhaps?
Would the trains have to be taken on by a ROSCO? Would there be firm guarantees on their use if the application was only approved until say HS2 as a complete example?
Can we let Polaris die? It never existed.
If Alstom is involved it will be their stock.
ORR and NR will take many months to respond, they will institute various investigations on technical feasibility, commercial viability, and franchise TOC/DfT objections.
No stock will be committed before then.
It's kite-flying, trying to influence the way franchising turns out after the Williams review, and seeking to keep Virgin/Stagecoach (and Alstom/SNCF) in the running for HS2.
 

whhistle

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Not surprised VT would apply with 91's - with them being pretty much the only batch of capable trains being free for the corresponding route
Would Virgin be able to run the 91s at 140mph?

Could the ROSCO charge a premium for using them, knowing they are the only suitable stock to run on that line?

Interesting times ahead.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Would Virgin be able to run the 91s at 140mph?
Could the ROSCO charge a premium for using them, knowing they are the only suitable stock to run on that line?
Interesting times ahead.
No. They don't have cab signalling, and NR doesn't offer speeds above 125mph anywhere.
They will be limited to 110mph on the WCML as they don't tilt (and never will).
The ROSCO won't get a premium for 30-year-old stock otherwise lying up in sidings.
 

takno

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No. They don't have cab signalling, and NR doesn't offer speeds above 125mph anywhere.
They will be limited to 110mph on the WCML as they don't tilt (and never will).
The ROSCO won't get a premium for 30-year-old stock otherwise lying up in sidings.
Not to mention that while they were built for 140mph running, they now have the status of clapped out old bangers that have never done 140 in fleet service, and are increasingly difficult to get spares for and keep running at 125. Even with the spares acquired from cutting half of them up, they will be up against it keeping them running at 110
 

driver_m

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The blurb I’ve read at work specifically mentions partnership with Alstom amongst others. Timings are showing as xx36 departures from Euston. A 110mph service will clearly disrupt the xx40 service, especially with xx33 services in front stopping at Rugby, an xx40 can be checked at Rugby for this, so it would be interesting to see NR’s response to this and whoever takes over the WCP.
 

pt_mad

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The blurb I’ve read at work specifically mentions partnership with Alstom amongst others. Timings are showing as xx36 departures from Euston. A 110mph service will clearly disrupt the xx40 service, especially with xx33 services in front stopping at Rugby, an xx40 can be checked at Rugby for this, so it would be interesting to see NR’s response to this and whoever takes over the WCP.
Possibly planning an overtaking move somewhere along the way as otherwise the xx40 will be up the back of an xx36 doing 110mph.
 

The Planner

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The blurb I’ve read at work specifically mentions partnership with Alstom amongst others. Timings are showing as xx36 departures from Euston. A 110mph service will clearly disrupt the xx40 service, especially with xx33 services in front stopping at Rugby, an xx40 can be checked at Rugby for this, so it would be interesting to see NR’s response to this and whoever takes over the WCP.
An xx40 gets checked by the xx33? I know the approach control into P1 at Rugby is ridiculous but Im surprised it does that. The Liverpool at xx07 is usually the worst affected by the xx03.
 

pt_mad

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If xx33 GNWR and potentially xx36 are used is there room left for performance in the VHF timetable at all?
 

Chester1

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The blurb I’ve read at work specifically mentions partnership with Alstom amongst others. Timings are showing as xx36 departures from Euston. A 110mph service will clearly disrupt the xx40 service, especially with xx33 services in front stopping at Rugby, an xx40 can be checked at Rugby for this, so it would be interesting to see NR’s response to this and whoever takes over the WCP.
Could Alstom get a new tilting train fleet ready for May 2021? That seems extremely optimistic!
 

driver_m

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An xx40 gets checked by the xx33? I know the approach control into P1 at Rugby is ridiculous but Im surprised it does that. The Liverpool at xx07 is usually the worst affected by the xx03.
Yep. I’ve worked many xx33 services and seen a xx40 service accelerate past me on the middle road at Rugby. If everything runs to time then it should be fine, but as we all know, a few minutes delay to anything in front of these services has the inevitable knock on effect.
 

The Planner

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Yep. I’ve worked many xx33 services and seen a xx40 service accelerate past me on the middle road at Rugby. If everything runs to time then it should be fine, but as we all know, a few minutes delay to anything in front of these services has the inevitable knock on effect.
You must be late on the 1733 then as its timed in front of the 1740 all the way to Stafford where its overtaken, unless you are on a different one?
 

driver_m

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You must be late on the 1733 then as its timed in front of the 1740 all the way to Stafford where its overtaken, unless you are on a different one?
It seems to change with the weather where were booked out. We used to have it pass us at Rugby or Stafford depending on TT used. but on numerous occasions it’s either been Crewe or Rugby. All depends on what kind of run xx23 gets and how long it’s at Watford. That is what always causes the knock on.
 

TheGrew

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How about a new electric locomotive + mk4 rolling stock with the tilt conversion they were meant to have originally ;)
 

pt_mad

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Yep. I’ve worked many xx33 services and seen a xx40 service accelerate past me on the middle road at Rugby. If everything runs to time then it should be fine, but as we all know, a few minutes delay to anything in front of these services has the inevitable knock on effect.
That's assuming the departure is running at 125. If this new service happens to be 110mph non tilt then it's going to need an overtake well before Rugby as far as I can see?

How about a new electric locomotive + mk4 rolling stock with the tilt conversion they were meant to have originally ;)
I think most would agree it's fairly certain mk4s will not get a tilt conversion. What would be the point in that sort of spend when new trains could probably be purchased with faster acceleration and modern facilities? Also, at a guess, it may mean all sorts of new modern standards would then have to be applied to mk4s, such as a new standard of interior with 2019 approved new build 125mph seats, i.e. class 80x seats.
 

TrainBoy98

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Also, if they plan on using new stock, with the way orders have been late recently, there's no way they could have new-builds ready for their planned 2021 launch surely?
 

Jonny

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It says in the VT press release (linked from post #128) that the “service” will be the most advanced, not the trains as such. The PR there is all about the booking system, with a seat for everyone, as proposed by them recently.
Which is much more reasonable when other trains are available. It would be inappropriate for franchised services that lack an alternative.
 

takno

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Which is much more reasonable when other trains are available. It would be inappropriate for franchised services that lack an alternative.
Which in itself is fine, but if they aren't going to use their timetable slot to help franchised passengers get home when the service is a mess, why should the franchise holder help their passengers get home if their train is cancelled? The upshot is that Virgin's precious and coddled passengers are going to end up on buses every time there's a shortage in their small pool of drivers, or when one of their antique trains breaks down, or if there's just delays on the line.

It was depressing enough watching Hull trains treating their customers like cattle last year, diluting the rail brand and making everybody more miserable. The idea of seeing Virgin trying to do it and scale and telling us we've been asking for it is really quite grim
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Got to take my hat off to Virgin's PR team after this superb advertisement in today's newspapers.
Is the "Chris" Chris Green maybe? (Who did as much as anybody to make VT what it is in a railway sense).
Or is he like the eponymous British Gas shareholder "Sid"?
 

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