WCML InterCity Franchise

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Whistler40145, 19 Apr 2019.

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  1. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Who are the bidders involved in the West Coast Mainline InterCity Franchise?

    Which would be the best option?
     
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  3. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    FirstGroup/Trenitalia and MTR/Guangshen/RENFE.

    Stagecoach/Virgin/SNCF, in my opinion the best option, have been disqualified due to the recent pensions debacle with the DfT (although it looks increasingly likely a judicial review is coming). I fail to see any advantages with the two other bidders.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't really like any of the options, as I don't want a Romance style HSR operator involved. I would like to have seen a bid involving a UK operation and DB AG, though NOT via Arriva, via DB Fernverkehr directly.

    (HSR in China is "Romance style" - non-clockface timetabling and compulsory reservations/airline style pricing)
     
  5. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Considering that when the franchise was up the previous time and First Group won and then the Government made a complete mess of it and ended up with Virgin still operating the service on a contract, we don't wish to have the same problem twice.
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I would be happy with another extension for Virgin Rail Group, given that even if the Stagecoach bid had succeeded that operation would end this year anyway.

    Of the two, I think I prefer the MTR bid as it isn't FirstGroup. But there's not a lot in it between the consortia, and I haven't seen the proposals for either as they are still confidential until an award is made.
     
  7. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Would any bid including Arriva, even if it was a part of a consortium?

    Northern Rail is part of the Arriva group and run out of Blackpool North to Preston
    If the WCML franchise was under another Arriva operator, they would have a complete monopoly on InterCity and local services, then there's the new open access services starting in September, part of the Grand Central company, which I believe is owned by Arriva, this would lead to different TOCs on that section, but in a round about way owned by one big organisation
     
  8. cactustwirly

    cactustwirly Established Member

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    Hmm, not sure DB fern is the best operator tbh!
    OeBB is a much more competent operator, and technically high speed between Linz and Vienna!

    My preference is First/Trenitalia, First have a good track record with FGW (not so much GWR)
     
  9. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    I'm thinking that the First/Trenitalia joint bid is favourable.

    First operate the Transpennine Express franchise, which is long distance, so have experience.
     
  10. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Thank god Arriva has not bid. I could see MTR maybe winning the bid but it is only two months away before it is announced.
     
  11. Jorge Da Silva

    Jorge Da Silva Established Member

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    Not so good at SWR either
     
  12. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Obviously in the short term, the winning bidder inherits the Pendolino and Voyager fleets.

    Will we see any changes to services?
     
  13. class387

    class387 Established Member

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    Agreed, though Chinese HSR is fixed pricing based on distance, with very cheap fares but no advance discounts.
     
  14. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Oh I don't know. That sounds a perfect result in my opinion.
     
  15. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    Probably not much in the way of changes to start with, but I reckon we'll then see gradual change as HS2 becomes ever closer.

    As for the fleets - it will be interesting to see what happens with them. I believe Alstom is currently working hard to reduce the costs of the expensive Pendolino fleet as some of the bidders had considered them too expensive, and it was rumoured that some were looking as possibly dumping them - such is the climate of cheaper newer rolling stock these days!
     
  16. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I find it utterly pointless trying to compare the bidders based on what they do on other TOCs. There can be no meaningful comparison as the circumstances are inevitably different.

    We'd need to know the details of the companies' bids to make any kind of determination as to what bid is best. And it just so happens there's a government department dedicated to doing just that. (Although its competence is the subject of extensive debate :lol:)
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2019
  17. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    That's going to be very interesting, especially if whoever wins dumps the Pendolino fleet in the future.
     
  18. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    Arriva didn't make the short list.

    Don't forget the new franchise is all about HS2 and the transition from current ICWC services.
    The winner will have to use the rolling stock bought for them by HS2 Ltd (separate competition).
    The challenges for this franchise will be of a different order to our current domestic TOCs, and the winner will be fighting with DfT and HS2 Ltd from Day 1.

    It's hard to guess what style HS2 services will take.
    Both Trenitalia and RENFE run decent high speed services, no idea about MTR/Guangshen (the HS route from Hong Kong has only just opened).
    Trenitalia's retail platform has turned up at c2c I believe.
    RENFE has a completely naff retail web site which can't even handle connections properly.
    Guangshen's is in Chinese, so hard to tell.
    The absence of Virgin/Stagecoach/SNCF leaves a big hole.
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    :lol::lol::lol: You won't see GNWR to Blackpool this side of 2020.
     
  20. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Even what GTR has done for the last few years?
     
  21. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    I meant really in terms of the political context, and service planning, rather than "running trains".
    If you see what I mean!
    It will be where Network Rail collides with HS2 Ltd.
     
  22. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    I do see what you mean but GTR did lots of service planning and ripped up several sets of plans (inc. pre taking over), I suspect you don't realise how much GTR did and is still doing. GTR has /is adding more new rolling stock than all the existing VT stock and DOUBLE all the HS2 captive stock. Driver recruitment and training off the scale compared to what the West Coast operator will have to do.
     
    Last edited: 19 Apr 2019
  23. Japan0913

    Japan0913 On Moderation

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    This franchise is
    unlike other, unlike until now,
    is essential to safely operate the ultra-high-speed rail.
    If a mistake can lead to major accidents.

    MTR likes, FirstGroup is hate, Toka, is not a matter of preference.
    The high-speed rail operator (Guangshen Railway Company & Renfe / Trenitalia ) a good track record, which is the entry should be the highest priority.

    Passenger is you.
     
  24. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Bearing in mind most are mid-life already it's not as bad as it sounds. Going to be a few more years yet & nothing will change before 2026 at the earliest due to the nature of operation on the WCML.
     
  25. Rail Blues

    Rail Blues Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but who else has recent experience of manufacturering tilt enabled stock?

    Won't a relatively small order of tilting stock to British loading gauge be prohibitively expensive, especially if competition is likely to be limited?
     
  26. realaledrinker

    realaledrinker Member

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    Bemused how operatives from the other side of the world can confidently take on the defined benefit pension liabilities....
     
  27. Surreytraveller

    Surreytraveller Established Member

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    Don't think the DafT cares, as long as they can offload their liabilities...
     
  28. realaledrinker

    realaledrinker Member

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    Oh yeah like Philip Green did. Then we all pick up the mess in extra taxes.
     
  29. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    The best option?
    And you say that (I guess) with no knowledge of their bid or what they proposed, nor what the others proposed?

    Or do you mean, you like Virgin as a company and wanted them to win?
    Because "the best" and "what I want" are two very different things.
     
  30. bionic

    bionic Member

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    Personally I'll be glad to see the back of Virgin. I can't stand their PR. Their trains are cramped, devoid of enough luggage space, devoid of enough windows and natural daylight (London to Glasgow staring at plastic wall and back of seat), the toilets stink out the vestibule ends, the stations they manage are desperately needing investment and they dress it all up with ridiculous branding and PR speak (arrive AWESOME, talking toilet etc). They make out it's good when its basically just crap. I'd take any operator over Virgin. They've had twenty years and now it's time to get off the pot.

    I know a new franchise wont see new trains any time soon, but I hope when they do finally get them they take into account the fact that people sitting on a train for hours might want to be able to see out the window. Pendolinos are awful trains. I'd much rather sit on a 350 and get there slower.
     
  31. Western Lord

    Western Lord Member

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    When HS2 is open and all principal inter city trains are operated by the new (non tilting) high speed stock, there will be absolutely no justification for (expensive) tilting trains on the WCML. Expect to see speed limits harmonised in order to increase line capacity.
     
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