West Coast Franchise possibilties

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by plastictaffy, 8 Apr 2015.

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  1. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    Afternoon folks
    Found myself at Rugby between trains early this morning, and got chatting with one of the Virgin dispatchers. We were discussing the possibility of Virgin taking over the LM franchise when it finishes next year. Apparently, they aren't even going to submit a bid.

    I'm guessing those that are preferred bidders may well have already been told, but how might I go about finding out who they might be?? One of my colleagues did suggest First could be in the running, but surely not??
     
  2. Agent_c

    Agent_c Member

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    Well, First did run for the West Coast... and did win it (reversed on appeal of course). Given their loss of Scotrail and the sleeper I can see em being a little more desperate for rail business.
     
  3. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    Virgin like flashy cool looking express trains. They will never bid for a local franchise. It doesn't fit their image. Also there wouldn't be much competition if Virgin ran both the local and express West Coast services.

    I was riding on LM yesterday and wondering about who could take it over in 2017. First seems like a decent possibility.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  4. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Why would Virgin take over LM? Virgin are a premium brand and don't want to be associated with the image of a commuter railway.

    Of course, if we see another Stagecoach-Virgin set up with intercity and commuter traffic combined, we could see Virgin branding only being applied to the intercity services and Stagecoach only appearing on the commuter trains!
     
  5. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    The competition isn't open yet, so no preferred bidders.
    Govia will get an extension/direct award for the current LM until June 2017, and the West Coast franchise renewal actually come up three months earlier.
    The pre-qualification for "LM" is due at the end of this year, and for "WC" in the summer.
    The DfT has yet to confirm what the shape of both franchises will be, though it seems LM will be split.
    Virgin have never shown any interest in local/regional services.
    It's possible Stagecoach might be interested in "LM", but I guess it might depend on whether they win TPE or East Anglia (or not).
    Not to mention the change of government.
     
  6. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    Of course this is all rather dependent on who wins the election, because if Labour win we might have government-owned bodies bidding for franchises. It's funny how people know government can't be trusted with anything, then rush to suggest they be trusted with running trains.

    Anyway given the amount First have lost recently I would be very surprised if they didn't win one of the upcoming franchises. LM seems a natural fit for them, and it would eat into the slightly too big GoAhead empire that seems to have come into existence around London.
     
  7. Paul Sidorczuk

    Paul Sidorczuk Veteran Member

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    With regards to Virgin and "a commuter railway", I am sure that there are gifted forum members with an artistic bent and a suitable computer programme who could post an image of a Class 142 Pacer in Virgin livery upon this thread.
     
  8. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    I'd like to see a 350 in Virgin's colours.

    I wouldn't mind a Pendolino in LM's colours if someone could oblige.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    First seems like a good shout then. What they like to work for??
     
  9. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Aren't we getting a bit ahead of ourselves here? Yes it is likely that First will bid but using the logic that "they've not won any in a while and so are due a win" is nonsense
     
  10. Class172

    Class172 Established Member Quizmaster

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    What are the chances that in the event of a LM split-up, the Snow Hill lines are passed onto Chiltern, which I know has been occasionally mooted in the past?

    Splitting up the franchise does leave me clueless as to where a line such as B'ham-Hereford would end up part of...? :?
     
  11. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    "Virgin Local" (Trains) ....sorry , does not fit the brand ...(in my view)
     
  12. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    The ''city'' part of London Midland has been proposed for devolution under a concession run by Network West Midlands which includes Shrewsbury & Hereford surprisingly.

    It seems likely that the WCML side of LM will be split into a seperate franchise from the West Midlands local operations but whether or not that is part of ICWC remains to be seen.
     
  13. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    There was a mocked up "franchise map" doing the rounds on our depot's facebook page that did just that. Almost a Transport for West Midlands, if you will. So everything that is under that umbrella would come under that - so I'm envisaging Cross City, Wolves, Coventrys, Walsalls, Snow Hill lines and the like. LM's successor would run a similar service to Silverlink, ie into New Street but without the small stations along the route. Puts Coventry depot in an awkward position though.......
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  14. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    ChiefPlanner - we've discussed Virgin West Coast Connect in the messroom.
     
  15. BHXDMT

    BHXDMT Member

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    Oddly enough, their plans don't include Coventry it seems.

    Centro Rail Devolution Map

    Page 6 of this document lists Shrewsbury, Hereford, Snow Hill, Cross City, Rugeley, Wolves/Walsall, Nuneaton/Leamington and as far as Birmingham International as part of the "West Midlands Rail Contract." Everything else goes under their beloved "West Cost Connect" idea. Funny really, I'd have expected Cov locals to come under a West Midlands franchise.

    I'm not sure if this is the most up to date map of the proposals, though.

    Edit: There is a newer map from Sept 2014 in the link 43074 posted above, which is essentially the same but oddly ommitting Cov-Leamington.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  16. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    Cov - Leamington served by Chiltern?? The whole thing could put Cov depot in a very awkward situation.
     
  17. 43074

    43074 Established Member

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    There's a map at the end of this document:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. BHXDMT

    BHXDMT Member

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    Wouldn't it just! Plenty of questions regarding what would happen to other depots in the West Mids too, losing work to this supposed WCC franchise.
     
  19. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

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    I seem to remember back in 2007 that the present set up was called the "London & Birmingham" franchise.

    It did seem very odd having the Snow Hill/Moor Street services included as it originally became part of the Great Western Railway, hence the plans to include it with the Chiltern franchise at the time.

    Would the new LM franchise just be the services that run along the London & Birmingham Railway, and Trent Valley Railway for North-west destinations, and nothing else? The present local services that run on GWR metals could easily go to Chiltern, with the services running predominantly on Midland Railway metals (such as Birmingham NS - Hereford via Bromsgrove) go to ICXC?

    In peace

    Adam
     
  20. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    I am surprised that Coventry to Birmingham New Street services aren't being run by the devolved body.

    The other two routes that also surprise me would be Nuneaton to New Street and Tamworth to New Street in not being part of routes controlled by the devolved body.
     
  21. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    My guess is that they would be. New Street - Coventry via all intermediates, a bit like LM do now.
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  22. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Why? They all seem very logical to me.

    Coventry: since the franchise wouldn't cover all non-XC & WC Coventry - Birmingham trains (as some would be with LM) what would the point of 1tph or whatever changing operator? A lot more logical and cost effective to keep them together
    Nuneaton: unless you want Stansted - Nuneaton trains that connect with Nuneaton - Brum trains, it is logical for them to stay where they are. Same with Tamworth

    If anything, from what I've seen this seems to be a fairly thought out proposal. Rather than them just saying "we want all West Midlands trains to be run by us", they seem to have looked at where it is possible to do so without causing unnecessary side effects
     
    Last edited: 8 Apr 2015
  23. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    And that's the rub. It's not about having a neat looking map, it's about having a service which works for the people who use it.
     
  24. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    You're surely not suggesting that TOC's do stuff in the interests of the common passenger, are you?? Do behave!!!:lol:
     
  25. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Unless the often talked about Nuneaton and Tamworth locals actually occur then they will stay with XC, would see no reason to move them.
     
  26. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Technically it isn't a TOC yet, its a PTEs proposal. So not quite as far fetched :lol:
     
  27. plastictaffy

    plastictaffy Established Member

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    Good point, succintly made old chap.
    Still, we all know that the PTE (as you rightly called it) will pour millions into making the map look pretty, really letting the design consultant go mad with his crayons, before realising there's about £6.75 left to provide the new super duper all singing and dancing service that they promised, but only on the third Tuesday afternoon of the month, and only if it's not raining.
     
  28. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Established Member

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    First Capital Connect rises from the ashes lol
     
  29. HLE

    HLE Member

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    Interesting you mention Coventry depot. It certainly would be in an awkward position, but after all it has its fair share of the wcml work, surely it would remain? The local services to Nuneaton (and in the near future Leamington) and possibly a centro style cov-new street calling at all the smaller stations would still be required? Be a bit like the old centro/silverlink days.

    I couldn't see it closing outright but I could see some of the staff being transferred to new street depot.

    All hypothetical though of course.
     
  30. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    This was my thinking which makes me think perhaps this body isn't interested in such an idea going forward.
     
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