Virgin West Coast Open Access Application

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

  1. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    If it does materialise, perhaps it should begin with Voyagers alongside some form of commitment to order new tilt capable EMUs within an agreed timescale if passengers figures satisfy expectations
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    That would be acceptable provided they are not permitted to continue with 221s beyond a specified date no more than a couple of years hence taking into account a reasonable delivery period for new stock (the only exception to this being if the new stock is delayed for reasons outside their control).
     
  3. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    If the ORR have anything whatsoever to do with the DFT then surely they would favour the applicant who has already gone through the DFT to procure stock to run the service and has agreed the order? Will the taxpayer be subsidising any of the rolling stock order with the franchised operator? If so surely it wouldn't be in anyone's interests to order trains you can't get paths for?
     
  4. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

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    Because they are not train companies, direct competition from other operators is what we are talking about here.

    I think it would be a good thing to have competition between 2 fast services, first east coast open access operator will have that
     
  5. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

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    Then surely it was a mistake to order the trains when the 2nd liverpool service is mot guaranteed because if it was iam sure we would have heard about virgins bit being rejected by now??
     
  6. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    And very very poor value for the tax payer. Avanti will be straight in to renegotiate, it completely throws any efficiency of the new proposed 7car Liverpool service out the window.
    This is mostly about Virgin winding up DfT...
     
  7. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    After the First East Coast saga which is one of the reasons that Virgin handed the keys back as the long term prospects had been degraded, DfT will remind ORR what the actual costs are and the assessment process has been changed to (See the SWML long distance into Waterloo OA proposal getting shot down).
    The First East Coast OA service provides a better London Edinburgh service (A gap left wide open by DfT in the franchise spec) but the Virgin Liverpool OA is just an alternative to the franchised operator proposal so very different (no gap in franchise spec).
     
  8. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    It would certainly be a strong factor in favour of Avanti - value to the taxpayer of the additional stock required etc.

    ORR and DfT are independent of each other. DfT have been known to be critical of ORR decisions on East Coast Open Access, through undermining revenue to franchised TOCs (and thus financial return to DfT).
     
  9. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    With regards to the number of 221's needed I've posted this on another thread:

     
  10. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

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    Yes but LNER already operate a london to Edinburgh service so they will compete with LNER

    so how is it different from virgin competing against avanti
     
  11. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    I think it means that what First are proposing is an entirely different product. No First Class, a ticket price on average of £25 and a consistent but very limited stopping pattern. Whereas what Virgin are proposing is something that is pretty much identical to what Avanti would offer apart from many more memes.
     
  12. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    And Avanti already compete themselves with their existing London-Edinburgh services
     
  13. Terrier

    Terrier Member

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    Virgin are proposing to use Voyagers on a hourly service Liverpool to Euston stopping at Lichfield, Tamworth & Nuneaton. Reservations only service thereby everyone guaranteed a seat in normal circumstances, In times of disruption if no seat available for the full journey then a full refund
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    An interesting question is if this means they are opting out of ORCATS entirely - has any previous OAO been viable without an ORCATS raid?
     
  15. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    Yes, because "Dedicated is King" these days so the amount of IA revenue you get through ORCATS is peanuts.

    It has to be real competition these days, either on price, quality or overall service offer.
     
  16. andyj158

    andyj158 Member

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    I presume you mean from a leisure passenger prospective? I certainly know my employer wouldn't want me taking a LNR service or coach when you consider the difference in travel time compared to Avanti (from the North West).

    I doubt I'd even personally consider the LNR journey time acceptable for a leisure trip to London unless I was staying a few days.
     
  17. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Diesels under the wires for the entirety, and now fairly old, smelly trains. Not a wildly exciting proposition really. And I'm not sure the three TV stops are going to be that fruitful either.
     
  18. prod_pep

    prod_pep Member

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    Voyagers are a silly choice on a fully electrified route. Cheap fares or not, I wouldn't use it.

    Seriously hope common sense wins through and Avanti are favoured.
     
  19. theshillito

    theshillito Member

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    Forgive my pessimism, but I have a feeling Virgin submitted this knowing it would be rejected. When it does, they'll then kick up a fuss about the system being broken and encourage the public to sign petitions and to their MP complaining about it, etc and it'll be the Virgin vs First debacle all over again.
     
  20. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    this! 'the government is stopping competition', and the Tories can't afford another rail disaster if they get reelected.
     
  21. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    I think you'll find that they and for that matter any other Government can withstand a "rail disaster" quite handily. They might get bad PR but it ain't going to cost them an election.
     
  22. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    Southern strikes were certainly a factor in some Conservative losses last GE. The bad PR does stack up against them - and can contribute to them losing an election.

    Virgin's PR machine has won against the government before. In an environment like the current one with a public generally against franchised operators, blocking competition (even if they had been operating for 20 years before) would be a brave political decision.
     
  23. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    It isn't about competition, it is about service provision.

    VTEC weren't proposing to up the KGX - Edinburgh frequency to the maximum they could but fill up some of the potential paths further south and not run all the way. First open access plan is to run them all the way instead.

    On the WCML both Avanti and VT want to run 1tph extra to Liverpool.

    There is a difference between the two.
     
  24. RealTrains07

    RealTrains07 On Moderation

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    Yes their is but virgin got their open access plan out first before first announced that they were intending a 2nd hourly train??

    thats how its been presented on the forum in past discussions about this
     
  25. pt_mad

    pt_mad Established Member

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    The thing is, is potentially 4 to 6 221s being available to XC because of this if it went ahead be enough to lengthen their core routes?
    Obviously 222s will become available soon, but would there be enough to strengthen say most flows between the South West to North East and Manchester routes and potentially Reading?

    You might well be correct that VT allowed this plan to be known publicly before the winning franchise bidder did. Therefore the climate has changed somewhat.

    So it's been pointed out that ORR are independent of the DFT. But politically surely the decision makers at the ORR will realise the outcome of their decision will affect the franchised operator, their plans and finances, and potentially the public purse if the 7 car trains are being procured simply due to the Liverpool route? They will be aware their decisions have potential consequences elsewhere in the bigger picture surely?

    On a further note, is it guaranteed that the ROSCO leasing company responsible for the 221s would even grant VT a lease on the 221s if the DFT and XC approached them with interest in the whole fleet for XC? Could the DFT put a block on VT leasing them, if taking them for the XC trunk routes could potentially be more beneficial to the public?
     
  26. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    It would allow the strengthening of quite a few diagrams, as for every new unit you got you could:
    - swap out a 4 coach unit for a 5 coach unit
    - steal a 4 coach unit from another diagram and run these as a pair in the place of a 5 coach unit
    - use the released 5 coach unit to replace for the stolen 4 coach unit

    Therefore even with 6 units 18 diagrams would see some level of capacity improvements.

    However even that's not the full picture, as you could have the 8 coach train running over the core route. In the cast of the Manchester services (which appear to interwork with each other) rather than it being 11 hours for the complete cycle is the doubled up units ran Basingstoke to Exeter (which would take 9 hours) you save the need for 2 units, which could be enough to bring benefits to an extra diagram.

    Given that there's 57 units, of we assume that there's 49 diagrams (5 units as spares/on maintenance and 3 units running in pairs already) 19 diagrams seeing improvements would be 39% of the services run by Voyagers.

    As such for every Voyager service to see an improvement you'd need 16 extra units, you may get away with a few less than that because some services don't need to see an improvement (as they are already doubled up) or they have a significant of their route off the Core network (i.e. they run West of Plymouth and therefore off the Core network for a longer period of time).

    As such with 12 units you'd probably see most (getting close to nearly all) services run as 5 or 8 coach units over the core. (i.e. 32 X 5 coach units Vs the current 38 X 4 coach units, with some of those being run in pairs currently and 19 X 8 coach trains Vs 20 X 5 coach units).

    12 extra units is what you'd get of the Liverpool services were every other hour.
     
  27. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Virgin/Stagecoach's legal action against DfT is far from resolved. I understand that it continues in the new year. DfT's track record suggests that they will lose....
     
  28. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    I have to be blunt and say that after DfT's vendetta against Virgin, apparently caused in the main by their own incompetence, l hope that any further bias is again hammered through the Courts. That 'debacle' was caused by one party, which wasn't Virgin.
     
  29. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    DfT "could" do that. The Courts would almost certainly crucify them if they tried, but they "could"....
     
  30. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Did you take the loss of the XC HST rakes into account? A small transfer of WC Voyagers might just end up replacing them, with no net gain.
     

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