XC Swindon to Birmingham

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by tgrb, 11 Feb 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. tgrb

    tgrb Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    11 Feb 2017
    On the ever so reliable Wikipedia old Virgin XC page it says that XC are starting running Swindon to Birmingham from April - is there any truth in this? I can't see anything to support it on the forum or from googling - any info would be appreciated if it is on the route etc.
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    34,602
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Welcome to the forum :)

    The XC franchise has not been operated by Virgin since 2008.

    Can you provide a link to the source and a quote from it (as per our forum rules) please?

    Edit: I see the text you refer to has been removed. Can I take the opportunity to issue everyone reading this a gentle reminder of the following requirement in our Forum Rules:
    • If referring to an external source you should put the text in QUOTE tags([​IMG]), provide details of the source and make a relevant comment to promote discussion.
    We ask for a quote because our blind members and users of some mobile devices, may find it hard to navigate to external sites, find the relevant information and navigate back again, so this makes it easier for them. Also in years to come, hyperlinks may no longer work or content may be removed.
     
    Last edited: 12 Feb 2017
  3. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

    Messages:
    12,477
    Joined:
    16 May 2010
  4. tgrb

    tgrb Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    11 Feb 2017
    Oops sorry, looks like midnightflyer beat me too it, thanks!

    I realise virgin hasn't operated this for a while and hence thought it fishy it being on there and no other info around about it, depending on the route could be dead handy for me though!
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    34,602
    Joined:
    6 Jun 2005
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    If there is no source available then it's no different to someone making a fishy claim down the pub (or on the end of a platform ;))
     
  6. sjoh

    sjoh Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2016
    I seem to recall a proposal of running a service to cater for the Birmingham-Great Western route after Bournemouth-Manchester services are diverted via East West railway to the WCML avoiding Birmingham. Could it possibly be a slightly unhinged reference to that?
     
  7. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

    Messages:
    7,691
    Joined:
    15 Apr 2008
    No, Bournemouth Manchester via E-W isn't a diversion, they would stay where they are. Anything that ends up on E-W is a new additional service.
     
  8. sjoh

    sjoh Member

    Messages:
    136
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2016
    Can't for the life of me remember where I saw it, but it must've been wrong in that case.
     
  9. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

    Messages:
    10,024
    Joined:
    22 Feb 2011
    Location:
    Mold, Clwyd
    We seem to have several levels of history and fantasy mixed up here.
    Even the Wiki entry says the VT0 service was withdrawn in 2003.
    It's ancient history.
    Swindon-Birmingham doesn't currently figure in any GW or XC franchise plans.

    The E-W proposals are future pipe-dreams.
    Until there is an electrified through route via Bletchley and Oxford, any proposals for new XC services that way are pure fiction.
    HS2 will in any case change everything.
    It looked promising for about a year when the Electric Spine was on the DfT table, but has evaporated along with NR's electrification programme.
     
  10. Kite159

    Kite159 Established Member

    Messages:
    8,535
    Joined:
    27 Jan 2014
    Location:
    West of Andover
    The only time Swindon might feature XC is diversions when the main line via Bristol Parkway was closed for engineering. Diverted via Swindon then towards Temple Meads.

    But XC serving Swindon on a permanent basis is as unfounded as returning across the great divide and serving Liverpool
     
  11. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

    Messages:
    15,180
    Joined:
    7 Apr 2010
    The references to it in one of the RUSs a couple of years back (think it was the GW one without checking) suggested the extra route it might be Manchester via Trent Valley and Milton Keynes to Basingstoke only, IIRC. That would have allowed operation with suitable electric stock - so is probably completely off the medium term agenda...
     
  12. Wilts Wanderer

    Wilts Wanderer Member

    Messages:
    380
    Joined:
    21 Nov 2016
    I would argue that Class 80x bi-mode trains put the prospect of (say) Bristol-Nottingham via Swindon/Oxford/Leicester firmly back on the table, with no wires necessary. Currently there is a general consensus that 800 units will be useless on diesel-only model but regardless it proves the concept and a second generation of bi-mode trains will be much better.
     
  13. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Member

    Messages:
    371
    Joined:
    10 Nov 2015
    IIRC the 'original' Virgin Cross Country franchise envisaged creating a 'new' Birmingham-Cheltenham-Swindon-Paddington axis under the Operation Princess banner.

    Despite considerable timetable development work it was never feasible as even by then the timetable was getting filled up with more frequent Great Western and Heathrow Express services, etc.

    This was a very long time ago now.
     
  14. Mag_seven

    Mag_seven Established Member

    Messages:
    1,664
    Joined:
    1 Sep 2014
    Location:
    Almost the west country
    You may be correct - I'm sure the proposal was for a two hourly XC Brum service with FGW running a Pad-Chelt-Worcester service in the other hour. The XC service was to be operated by "Challenger" short HST sets.
     
  15. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    Joined:
    6 Sep 2011
    Location:
    Herts
    It was also a blatant ORCATS raid - Swindon to Paddington ! (20% share potentially) - VXC had a traumatic time with GW in trying to get it started , but of course rolling stock shortages nulled the whole thing.

    It ended up as a "last redoubt" of VXC running Brum to Swindon -sometimes with mini - HST sets , more often with the filthy 158 sets they had - until it was killed off and the Stroud Valley put back into the non "inter city" mode of operation via Wessex Trains. (who got the bug infested 158's !)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page