Thanks for the train check. It seems that East Coast is doing well.
I wrote in this month’s Platform page that this TOC had increased its market share considerably in recent years. This is an achievment because for decades the Anglo-Scottish rail business has been in decline.
But it will face more competition from Little Red which may prompt some customers to defect to the ‘high road’ as Little Red has keen prices when you book ahead.
East Coast operates both electric and HST diesel trains on the route. I presume you travelled in the former ?
The HSTs are around 30 years old. I travelled back from Leeds to KX in one of these last Monday and I must say it had been extensively refurbished and felt newish.
The electric trainsets are also quite old and they too have been refurbished to a high standard so am surprised to read your comments.
Both the HSTs and the electric trainsets operate at the same maximum speed of 125 mph as do Virgin’s Pendolinos. The electric trains and the Pendolinos are actually designed for 140 mph operation but they have never achieved this in regular service.
Whoever wins the franchise would be expected to operate new rolling stock. The Pendolinos have been tested on the East Coast route but, in a way, they are wasted on this line as it doesn’t twist and turn as much as the West Coast route.
John Harper is correct in that the Pendolinos do not have the same amount of interior space. To allow space for tilting (the UK has a restricted loading guage compared to mainland Europe) the coaches are not as large as conventional UK rolling stock.