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Author Topic: First Trenitalia win West Coast Partnership  (Read 823 times)
Timmer
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« on: August 14, 2019, 07:45:02 am »

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/west-coast-marks-new-partnership-model-for-rail

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First Trenitalia has today (14 August 2019) been announced as the successful bidder to operate the West Coast Partnership, set to provide passengers with new trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services on the West Coast Main Line.

Both the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps and Keith Williams, chair of the Rail Review, have heralded the Partnership as vital to deliver the swift introduction of significant benefits for passengers. The new Partnership is also designed to fit with the direction of the Review and to facilitate the implementation of Williamsí recommendations in due course.

It also reflects a significant move away from the previous flawed franchising system to tackle issues already highlighted by the Williams Review, with the use of a forecast revenue mechanism (FRM) to avoid a repeat of the issues that affected the previous East Coast Main Line. This mechanism will be supported by a new annual review process, to ensure partnership working is effective, collaborative and continually improving.

The Transport Secretary has also confirmed that the government intends to produce a white paper in due course setting out the recommendations of Williams, to bring forward his vision for a truly passenger focused industry centred on clear, accountable leadership.
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« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 08:01:44 am by Timmer » Logged
plymothian
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 07:45:20 am »

To be announced today, First Group and Trenitalia are to take over the West Coast Partnership franchise from Virgin.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 08:09:56 am »

Great minds think alike ... two threads started on the same topic within minutes!   I have merged them ...
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Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and of RailFuture
bradshaw
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 08:22:48 am »

That means First Group will now run WCP, SWR, GWR, TPE, Hull Trains and Croydon Trams.

The new franchise intends a half hourly Liverpool service which will probably kill off the Virgin open access interest.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 09:00:20 am »

Congratulations to FirstGroup. Got the West Coast at the second attempt.

Provided no one launches another legal challenge that is...
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bignosemac
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 09:23:40 am »

Placeholder website has gone live, with information about all the future plans for the franchise.

https://www.westcoastrail.co.uk/
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stuving
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 09:29:53 am »

BBC Breakfast TV in their news segment said Trenitalia had got the contract, and didn't mention First.

The BBC news site starts with head/subhead/first line of body:
"FirstGroup replaces Virgin to run West Coast route
FirstGroup is to take over the running of the West Coast mainline train route, connecting London Euston to Glasgow Central, from December.
Along with Italian firm Trenitalia, FirstGroup said the route would pave the way for an era of high-speed rail."

And dear old Metro goes the other way:
"Italian train company takes over West Coast Mainline
First Trenitalia will operate train services on the West Coast Main Line from December 8, the Department for Transport has said.
The joint partnership was awarded the West Coast Partnership (WCP) contract, which also includes responsibility for running the first HS2 trains from 2026."

Conspiracy theory, anyone? Or is it just common or garden sub-editing.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 10:38:52 am by stuving » Logged
ZoŽ
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2019, 09:40:56 am »

I noticed this in the statement from FirstGroup at https://otp.tools.investis.com/generic/regulatory-story.aspx?newsid=1321900&cid=858

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Our fleet of 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished, incorporating 25,000 brand new comfortable seats and additional luggage space for passengers. Better and more reliable free Wi-Fi and at-seat power will be provided for all customers across the fleet, with wireless charging and onboard entertainment. Catering will be upgraded with at-seat service for all.

I wonder if the two parts I have highlighted in bold will mean the end of the line for the buffet (shop) on this route.
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2019, 10:02:07 am »

A couple of things which I believe are cause for encouragement:

A commitment to retire their fleet of Voyager units, surely good news for the travelling public.
In my experience Trenitalia are very good at running High Speed train services and I hope that quality can be replicated in the UK.
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chuffed
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2019, 10:07:49 am »

I have used all three classes of Freccia trains in Italy ( rossa, argento and bianco) and have always been most impressed with their speed, comfort and reasonable fares. They have also invested in Alstom Jazz EMU  trains for lightly used rural lines and I have to say they are just sensational. If only they ran them over here !
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alan_s
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2019, 10:34:02 am »

I noticed this in the statement from FirstGroup at https://otp.tools.investis.com/generic/regulatory-story.aspx?newsid=1321900&cid=858

Quote
Our fleet of 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished, incorporating 25,000 brand new comfortable seats and additional luggage space for passengers. Better and more reliable free Wi-Fi and at-seat power will be provided for all customers across the fleet, with wireless charging and onboard entertainment. Catering will be upgraded with at-seat service for all.

I wonder if the two parts I have highlighted in bold will mean the end of the line for the buffet (shop) on this route.

I hope not, but you are probably right!
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onthecushions
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2019, 10:49:30 am »


How about an open access service to the North West/Scotland using this new GWR/WCP synergy?

IEP's would compete well with CC Voyagers, being diesel only between Didcot/Oxford and Coventry.

They could perhaps find the stock by electrifying to Bedwyn, releasing suburban use IEP's and allowing the 12odd daily  B&H services to run pan up for another 14 miles.

Just crayoning,

OTC
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Celestial
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2019, 11:14:48 am »

Presumably the Voyagers are going to end up with Cross Country. Which probably means no extra stock for those services for another 3 years or so until they are released when the new trains arrive for West Coast.  That's a long time to wait whilst HST's rust in the sidings somewhere which could be used. (I doubt it would be cost effective to put automatic doors and proper toilets in for such a short period.)  That probably explains why the 1 year extension to XC had no mention of new stock, as the DfT already had it all mapped out. 
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2019, 11:38:47 am »

I wonder if the two parts I have highlighted in bold will mean the end of the line for the buffet (shop) on this route.

Comments elsewhere suggest exactly that.
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broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2019, 12:52:49 pm »

I noticed this in the statement from FirstGroup at https://otp.tools.investis.com/generic/regulatory-story.aspx?newsid=1321900&cid=858

Quote
Our fleet of 56 Pendolino trains will be completely refurbished, incorporating 25,000 brand new comfortable seats and additional luggage space for passengers. Better and more reliable free Wi-Fi and at-seat power will be provided for all customers across the fleet, with wireless charging and onboard entertainment. Catering will be upgraded with at-seat service for all.

I wonder if the two parts I have highlighted in bold will mean the end of the line for the buffet (shop) on this route.

I fear so, it is called progress. I expect that the survey to justify the end of buffets on this route has already been done.
Elsewhere on these forums we have seen the strong opposition to buffets expressed by senior First group management.
And the views expressed by many members that there is no point in arguing about this, because it is a done deal and is permanent at least for the life of the present franchisee, and possibly for the life of the trains.

Prepare for a similar change on the West coast route.
Followed by complaints when the greatly improved trolley service turns out to be anything but.
Then after a couple of years, the publication of various plans to improve the trolley service to that which was promised.
Followed by suggestions that people like me should stop complaining because it is a done deal.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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