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Author Topic: First Trenitalia win West Coast Partnership  (Read 821 times)
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2019, 01:32:51 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'm trying to reconcile "First" with "reliable wi-fi".
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plymothian
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2019, 05:44:03 pm »

Prepare for First to lose the Greater Western franchise when it comes up for proper renewal.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2019, 07:50:14 pm »

I don't know about First losing Greater Western, no one does yet. But I can foresee a brain drain to West Coast of the brighter management talents currently at GWR.
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ellendune
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« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2019, 07:56:03 pm »

Prepare for First to lose the Greater Western franchise when it comes up for proper renewal.

Given how few players there are in the market these days I would not put money on it. 
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broadgage
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2019, 05:35:42 pm »

I don't know about First losing Greater Western, no one does yet. But I can foresee a brain drain to West Coast of the brighter management talents currently at GWR.

I agree. I can foresee proper railway managers deserting GWR for the exciting new opportunities offered by the new West Coast operation.
Mark Hopwood for example. Whilst I disagree with some of the views of Mr Hopwood, he is IMO, to be commended for joining this forum and answering questions.
He also appears to understand railways, which is more than can be said for some managers, who believe that possession of an MBA* means that they can run ANY business, without knowing much about it.

*Master of Business Administration, a type of degree often held by young keen managers with little knowledge of the business that they are running.
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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.
mjray
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« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2019, 06:20:40 pm »

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.
Wouldn't the lack of tilt confine IEPs to lower speeds on the WCML?

Other than that, it seems a bit of a shame that First have got another franchise when their current ones don't seem to be working properly and this seems to replicate the GWR/SWR overlap in the north west with only TPE (already First) competing with ICWC on some routes, which seems not great for customers.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2019, 06:26:57 pm »

I don't know about First losing Greater Western, no one does yet. But I can foresee a brain drain to West Coast of the brighter management talents currently at GWR.

I agree. I can foresee proper railway managers deserting GWR for the exciting new opportunities offered by the new West Coast operation.
Mark Hopwood for example. Whilst I disagree with some of the views of Mr Hopwood, he is IMO, to be commended for joining this forum and answering questions.
He also appears to understand railways, which is more than can be said for some managers, who believe that possession of an MBA* means that they can run ANY business, without knowing much about it.

*Master of Business Administration, a type of degree often held by young keen managers with little knowledge of the business that they are running.

I'd take young and keen over old and cynical any day of the week  Wink
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2019, 07:30:26 pm »

Experienced but still keen might be the best combination. Maybe.
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MVR S&T, was justdarkbeer
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« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2019, 07:57:47 pm »

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.
Wouldn't the lack of tilt confine IEPs to lower speeds on the WCML?

Do Voyagers (still) tilt?

Other than that, it seems a bit of a shame that First have got another franchise when their current ones don't seem to be working properly and this seems to replicate the GWR/SWR overlap in the north west with only TPE (already First) competing with ICWC on some routes, which seems not great for customers.
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MVR S&T, was justdarkbeer
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« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2019, 08:44:16 pm »

Answering my own question.

'CrossCountry's Class 221s operate alongside 220s on the routes inherited from Virgin CrossCountry. Since these routes are not cleared for tilting operation (with the exception of Wolverhampton to Stockport), in 2008 the tilting equipment was locked out of use and shortly afterwards was isolated altogether, replacing the hydraulic rams with fixed tie-bars. This change was made to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs.'
Wikipedia.
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TonyK
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« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2019, 10:57:12 pm »


I'm trying to reconcile "First" with "reliable wi-fi".

I rode on an IET from Tiverton Parkway to Paddington in May. I had recourse to the internet a few times en route, and it was only as we approached PAD that I realised that I had experience absolutely no problems with the WiFi connection at all!

I don't know about First losing Greater Western, no one does yet. But I can foresee a brain drain to West Coast of the brighter management talents currently at GWR.

And so can I, especially as the opening of services on HS2 moves closer. Opening the first new high speed railway since the Chunnel link will present some major challenges to think about, especially given the controversial nature of the line. The best players in the company will be thrown at it - I hope they are already training their likely replacements.

I think this announcement has to be seen as a major vote of confidence in First, especially given the opposition. MTR run a very tight ship in Hong Kong, where the Metro is the most profitable in the world, and still isn't expensive. This won't have been decided in the past few days, so I assumed Chris Grayling will have started the process of evaluating the bids. Grant Shapps and Jo Johnson will have simply needed to correct the errors and make the final coin toss. But not long ago, the financial pages of the papers were forecasting First's exit from British public transport, with Coast Capital driving forward plans to sack a lot of the board and concentrate on America alone. That seems to have been forgotten, although the Times did helpfully point out that First Group's debt is around three quarters of the group's value. Trenitalia is a bonus, as they work well in Italy in my experience.

But Stagecoach have hinted at court action, apparently winning the right to seek a judicial review of the decision. Hopefully, the work done by DafT will have been of a higher quality than in the famously botched case a few years back. Learning from mistakes is a good thing.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2019, 11:33:21 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
broadgage
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« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2019, 03:36:09 pm »

I feel that the potential impact of HS2 is of very little relevance to operation of the West Coast route for some years yet.
To those quoting varying but still near term opening dates for HS2, I put the following question.

"How many route miles of new construction are proposed, and of these, how many miles have built"

I am not opposed to HS2 but I am cynical, or some would say realistic, about the opening date. I do not expect the first phase to open before 2030 at the very earliest, and 2040 might be more realistic.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 03:41:37 pm by broadgage » Logged

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.
ellendune
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« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2019, 04:33:26 pm »

I feel that the potential impact of HS2 is of very little relevance to operation of the West Coast route for some years yet.

Have you seen what they are about to do at Euston? That will have an effect on West Coast operations fairly soon I would say. 
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onthecushions
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« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2019, 06:13:47 pm »


Wouldn't the lack of tilt confine IEPs to lower speeds on the WCML?


The places where a 390 can go faster than an agile IEP are quite limited on the CC route and are of little time penalty. There are about 17 miles of enhanced permissible speed (c10-15 mph above non tilting speed) between Stafford and Crewe. There are actually about 10 miles of non tilting 125mph route between Wolverhampton and Stafford.

The speeds were largely set with Virgin in the WC upgrade, who didn't want to pay for other operators so it may be that First could look at increasing the non tilt 125mph sections, which would suit CC also.

The fact that the 221 tilt was deemed uneconomic and unnecessary says it all.

Manchester here I come (and perhaps Birkenhead Woodside)

OTC

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