That experience with GNER/NXEC is very interesting indeed, NTarrant. Since the final year of GNER operation and the launch of their new website (which is the platform subsequently used by NXEC and now East Coast) all Advance Purchase fares have been discounted by 10% on that site.
That discount isn’t (or shouldn’t!) be available on any other site, so I’ll certainly start checking myself in future. That said, purchasing directly from the East Coast site does offer another benefit; namely the automatic tracking of spend for the purposes of qualifying for membership of their ‘escape’ loyalty programme.
Meanwhile LondonCity is quite right; the £480m to which I referred relates to the finance raised to fund the purchase of the Pendolinos by Angel Trains, not (as it transpires) the actual cost – which I can’t seem to confirm from any source at the moment. I also can’t immediately find out who owns the remaining SuperVoyagers operated by VT – though it’s assuredly not VT themselves.
An order has additionally been placed for four new 11-car Pendolinos and 33 sets of two-carriages to be inserted into the nine car trains which, together with the associated maintenance contract, is worth an estimated £1.5bn. Again, though, this is an Angel Trains investment, not Virgin’s, despite the media’s willingness to believe the latter’s spin.
Back to tickets though, and this is the man you need to know: