Also visit: mashmedia.net | c-mw.net | exhibitionnews.co.uk | exhibitionworld.co.uk
Search

Virgin Trains loses West Coast Mainline franchise bid

Share
article:
Share on LinkedIn Email Print View
Richard Branson Virgin Trains has lost its bid to continue running the West Coast Mainline franchise.
 
The new contract, which starts on 9 December 2012 and runs through to 31 March 2026, will be run by the UK’s largest rail operator, FirstGroup, which says it will offer “substantial improvements in the quality and frequency of services”.
 
The West Coast Mainline route serves 31m passengers travelling between London, the West Midlands, the North West, North Wales and the central belt of Scotland.
 
Virgin Group’s Founder, Sir Richard Branson, said the company’s loss of the franchise was “very disappointing news”.
 
“Over the last 15 years Virgin’s staff have worked hard to transform this railway. We submitted a strong and deliverable bid based on improving customers’ experience, increased investment and sustained innovation. To have bid more would have involved dramatic cuts to customer quality and considerable fare rises which we were unwilling to entertain,” said Branson.
 
“We also did not want to risk letting everybody down with almost certain bankruptcy at some time during the franchise as happened to GNER and National Express who overbid on the East Coast mainline. Sadly the Government has chosen to take that risk with First Group and we only hope they will continue to drive dramatic improvements on this line for years to come without letting everybody down,” he added.
 
FirstGroup says it will introduce 11 new 125mph six-car electric trains on the Birmingham-to-Glasgow route and provide more direct services between destinations.
 
Additional Pendolino tilting trains currently being introduced by Virgin will deliver more than 28,000 seats a day.
 
The Government says FirstGroup’s new trains should add a further 12,000 seats a day on West Coast routes from 2016.
 
FirstGroup’s Chief Executive Tim O’Toole said it was a good deal for the company and the public.
 
"Our bid also delivers value for taxpayers by returning premiums to the government underpinned by sustainable growth in passenger numbers and revenues from the utilisation of significant available capacity," he said.
 
Do you have a news story for CN? Email: vcarley@mashmedia.net

15 Aug 12

Gaydon motor trust gets £800k Arts Council investment
The British Motor Industry Heritage Trust, based at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon in Warwickshire has been awarded £811,686 investment from the Arts Council... ...read more
Power from food waste at NEC, Poken saving paper
Over 120 tonnes of food waste a year from Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC) will help power a local sewage treatment works, as part of a new deal... ...read more
Mark Kermode heads the bill at EVCOM’s first screen awards
A top movie critic will host the inaugural EVCOM Screen Awards ceremony later this... ...read more
Boom time for London hotels as demand for rooms surges
Hotel rooms in London are set to become more... ...read more
BVEP renews call for Christmas Party Exemption
The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has redoubled its campaign for government to increase the tax exemption for annual corporate functions and... ...read more

News Archive
Partners & Associations
I.C.C.A
Conference Centres of Excellence
Meetings Industry Association
VENUEmasters
International Confex
Conference and Meetings World
Conference News - Online
Conference News Supplement - Online
Mash Media
Home | News | Features | Blogs | Events Diary | Recruitment | Directory | Subscribe | Print Magazines | Contact Us
© 2008 - 2015 Mash Media Group