We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Contact Forum Editor

Send an email to our Forum Editor:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the Forum Editor know who sent the message. Both your name and email address will not be used for any other purpose.

Speakers Corner


It's free to register, to post a question or to start / join a discussion


 

Government Insanity or Sour Grapes?


oresome

Likes # 0

Sir Richard Branson has attacked the "insanity" of the Government after Virgin Trains lost control of the prestigious West Coast rail line that it has run for 15 years.

First Group has won the contract with a bid some £750M less than Virgins, which Sir Richard believes will result in First Group losing money and the Government ultimately taking back control.

This is not unprecedented. GNER and National Express have previously been stripped of contracts after failing to meet their obligations.

Like this post
interzone55

Likes # 0

Eddie Stobart send a lot of stuff by rail, the trains zoom past my house from 11pm onwards when the West Coast line is less busy with passenger traffic.

I think they take mainly bulk deliveries for supermarkets, so that for instance where you would normally have 80 huge Tesco wagons driving up the M6, you now have one train. This means that at the end of the journey you can have smaller wagons taking the deliveries to the stores

Like this post
Forum Editor

Likes # 0

alan14

"This means that at the end of the journey you can have smaller wagons taking the deliveries to the stores"

Tesco has its own train - The Tesco Express - that runs between Daventry and Livingston. The company also uses barges to transport goods to city centres via canals, and regularly makes bulk wine shipments from Liverpool docks to Manchester that way. Tesco claims that this results in 50 lorries being taken off the road every week and cutting carbon emissions by 80%.

Sainsbury also makes deliveries to and from distribution depots via canals.

Like this post
Condom

Likes # 0

As someone who lives , or used to live on a Virgin Line before they stopped our direct service, I have several comments to make. Virgin's main line trains were fast, punctual and clean and normally ran on time and provided a better service than what was there before. It was not perfect as complaints on Fridays and Mondays about overcrowding were rife. An 8 coach train normally had 4 coaches first class mostly empty and 4 coaches second class full. Several times on long distances I have asked if I could have a meal and was was told meals were only for first class passengers and I had to use the buffet. Surely not a good business decision to turn fee paying public away. Luggage was also a problem on Virgin's coaches as space was pretty limited if you had more than a single small case.

Virgin Trains itself is 49% owned by Stagecoach so I do take Branson's comments with a pinch of salt. The new Company is also Scottish and based in Aberdeen and is no doubt jumping up and down at giving Stagecoach a shiner as I do believe they have crossed swords before.

I just hope that it works out and if it doesn't it could take the whole company down with it. As for myself the new Company has promised to reinstate our direct line to London but not until 2016 so I won't be holding my breath. If Virgin chose not to sell on their modern Pendola fleet then the service might very well go backwards for several years until new rolling stock is ordered from overseas no doubt and is put into service.

(Post edited by FE to remove potentially defamatory comment)

Like this post
Fruit Bat /\0/\

Likes # 0

If Virgin chose not to sell on their modern Pendola fleet

Do Virgin actually own these or are they leased from some one like Angel Trains. Very few Rail companies own the "Stock".

if they are leased, then Virgin will just stop renting them, they will be given a new livery and leased on to the next firm :0)

Like this post
Condom

Likes # 0

Fruit Bat

You may very well be correct in what you say but it is still up to Virgin whether they keep the trains or not. If they wish to bid for another contract then having decent rolling stock in hand would certainly be better for the service than having to wait and order again.

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

Where did the idea that Virgin bid £750m more than First Group.

Both the Times and Independent report that FirstGroup bid £1billion more.

What is the truth.

Like this post
oresome

Likes # 0

The Department for Transport (DfT) handed the contract to FirstGroup after Virgin's rival made an offer of £5.5bn to run the line for the next 13 years - £423m a year. Sir Richard tweeted that he had bid £750m less.

Like this post
bremner

Likes # 0

Oresome

Thanks for correcting your OP

Like this post
Quickbeam

Likes # 0

What's to stop Stagecoach taking over the leases on newer rolling stock for their services? That would put the West Coast line back about 5 years as they tried to play catchup and screw their promised service quality and financial plans up.

Like this post
oresome

Likes # 0

The companies have now had feedback on their bids and how they were rated.

Virgin's bid was deemed more deliverable and they scored higher on timetabling for demand.

Firstgroup were rated higher on customer satisfaction and fleet delivery....both rather controversial verdicts as Firstgroup have yet to finalise fleet contracts and usually come below Virgin on customer satifaction surveys.

Firstgroup forcast a higher passenger growth rate which is crucial to them making money from the contract.

There is a 10 day appeal window.

Firstgroup's share price fell after winning the bid. The market presumably thought they'd overpaid.

Like this post

Reply to this topic

This thread has been locked.



IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 release date, new features and compatibility: Free to download from 6pm

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

Colour-depth not resolution is what will make 4K a success or failure

IDG UK Sites

iPhone 6 vs iPhone 6 Plus: Which new iPhone 6 model should I buy?