Author Topic: WCML franchise announcements  (Read 8385 times)


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Re: WCML franchise announcements
« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2012, 01:26:21 PM »
Some of the best Rail News I have heard in a long time: -

1. The Dft humiliated, their credibility in tatters.
2. First share price drops 20% - couldn't happen to a 'nicer' company.
3. Former Transport Secretary Justine Greenings reputation seriously tarnished (I have no idea whether she was culpable or deceived/mislead by Civil Servants).
4. 2 enquiries into what went wrong - end result will be bad for either Civil Servants in Dft or Ministers (or both!).

Schaudenfraude - don't you just love it!

Whatever the rights and wrongs of this sorry tale, there is no doubt that both Cameron/Conservative party and the rail/Transport industry in general will be demanding blood sacrifices in the Dft.

Offline Suzy Scott

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Re: WCML franchise announcements
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2012, 09:40:14 AM »
Virgin Trains to continue running West Coast services

Virgin Rail Group (VRG) was today appointed as operator of the InterCity West Coast franchise under a contract to operate the network from 9 December.

The contract is for the period from the end of the current franchise on 9 December 2012 to 8 November 2014. The agreement may be terminated earlier if a new long-term franchise is ready to commence prior to 9 November 2014.
Under the new agreement, VRG will initially earn a fee equivalent to 1% of revenue with the Department for Transport (DfT) taking the risk that revenue and/or costs differ from those currently expected. However, VRG and the DfT have also agreed to seek to negotiate revised commercial terms that would see VRG take greater revenue and cost risk for the period to 8 November 2014.

Trains will continue to operate under the Virgin Trains brand name, serving London, the Midlands, the North West, north Wales and Scotland.

The announcement coincides with a new timetable for Scotland that begins next Monday, offering an hourly service between London and Glasgow for the first time, following 50% growth in customer numbers on the route in the last three years.

Virgin Trains has increased the capacity of many of its Pendolino trains in recent months by more than 150 Standard Class seats, which is equivalent to 28,000 Standard Class seats a day. This represents a 42% increase in Pendolino Standard Class capacity.

World-leading growth has seen customer numbers double to 31 million in six years. The project run by VRG to add 106 new carriages to meet this demand has been delivered on time and on budget.

The announcement means continued stability on the successful franchise and follows widespread support from customers, who have pressed for Virgin Trains to remain as the operator of the West Coast network. Virgin Trains scores higher than any other long-distance franchise in the National Passenger Survey, with 91% of customers saying they are satisfied with the service.

Following the agreement with the DfT, VRG will add improvements to services, including better station facilities, onboard enhancements and an improved compensation scheme for customers who suffer delayed journeys. The detail will be discussed with the DfT in the coming weeks.

Tony Collins, CEO of VRG, said: “I’m delighted that we have an agreement with the Department for Transport that gives us the chance to continue providing high quality services to our customers. We have had great support from staff and customers in recent months and we will repay that loyalty with even better service.

“We will not be sitting back in the coming months, but are keen to introduce more improvements to the service, which is already the most popular long-distance service in the country. We are proud of what we have achieved since 1997, but there is undoubtedly more to come and we will work closely with the Department for Transport to bring even better services in future.”
RMT reaction to Virgin West Coast extension announcement

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said: “Anyone who thought the unprecedented fiasco on the West Coast Main Line franchise was over needs to think again. Although the extension announcement has been made this morning it only exposes the reckless high wire act that has taken the negotiations between Virgin and the DfT right to the very brink of the contracts’ termination this weekend.

“Because of the shocking ineptitude right at the top of this rotten government Richard Branson has muscled his way into a monopoly provider position on this main line route and has extracted a longer extension than expected leaving it wide open to legal challenge. Meanwhile, pure right-wing ideology stopped this sub-Thatcherite Government from using the safe, efficient and cost-effective option of renationalising the West Coast.

 “Millions of pounds that could have been invested in services, or used to keep fares down, has been blown on the West Coast shambles and many millions more will be wasted as further pointless franchising exercises are carried out as the Government learns nothing from this debacle.

 “The case for renationalisation of Britain’s railways is now overwhelming.”

Offline AndrewHA

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Re: WCML franchise announcements
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2012, 12:37:51 PM »
Pleased to see Mr Crow has  put his usual positive comments forward again .

No " Snouts in the Trough" this time .

( And to think I paid money evey week to keep him in a job )
Andrew HA.

Adam Dowling

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Re: WCML franchise announcements
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2012, 01:32:18 PM »
Considering how much of a shambles the Dft has shown itself to be throughout this tendering process, would anyone really want the same department responsible for operating a railway long term?

If the WCML had remained nationalised, would it have recieved the level of investment that Virgin have put in over the past 15 years?