And it's goodbye from Virgin Trains

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This topic contains 17 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  canucklad 28 Nov 2019
at 09:17
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • Mark Caswell
    Keymaster


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I don’t much like Branson but I’ve always enjoyed using VT services and the touches of humour (like the signs in the toilets) and I think this fun and good publicity for the brand.

    A lot better, although for a different purpose, than BA’s awful safety videos which try to be smart and funny and fail miserably. Not sure if any of the people in it are so-called personalities, but if they are just random people, that’s even better.

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    TominScotland
    Participant

    Sorry to disappoint you, Capetonianm, but there are so-called celebrities in the Virgin farewell.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Tom : Really? I ran it through again and didn’t recognise any of them (of course I recognised RB), but that’s not surprising. What is surprising is that my wife watched it and also didn’t recognise anyone.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Firstly, a great way to sign-off, nothing better than nostalgia to bring that proverbial tear to your eye
    And apart from Mr Blobby and the guy from EastEnders, didn’t recognize anybody else, I’ll need to re-watch it

    On a serious note, you just have to wonder what comes next, when it comes to making decisions about our railway ?

    With the exception of GNER , Virgin was the best of the TOC’s , albeit , the standard is lower than a snakes belly .

    I assume Cross Country , the filthiest and most unreliable will lose their franchise ?
    Northern is an absolute disgrace , nothing going for it , so how much longer ?
    TPE is so inconsistent it makes a roller coaster ride seem like a cycle ride in Holland
    I could add Scotrail, Aviva Wales and off course the company that operates into Waterloo ?

    So why are we losing Virgin ?


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Clearly not in to your football, folks. Heard of Chris Kamara?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    No, but I am not a follower of football.


    canucklad
    Participant

    Morning Tom, It’s fair to say I’m an idiot . Watched it again and couldn’t believe my foolishness
    You won’t believe this, but I’ve met Chris Kamara on quite a few occasions .
    He burst into laughter when he asked me what team I supported and I replied , “we’ve probably got the most bizarre chairman in the history of football!2
    Oh, you’ll be a Jambo then !!


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    “So why are we losing Virgin ? ”

    canucklad – Note that the WCML franchise is a JV between Virgin and Stagecoach,

    The answer to your question is contained in the piece we published regarding EM Trains.

    Stagecoach to lose East Midlands Trains franchise


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    It seems that through appalling Operations of some train Companies, that the overall concept of Franchising in the UK of Rail services, is falling away.
    Certainly affecting most of our lives on a daily basis in the region we live, of one Company for work and leisure, both local and long journeys.
    In London where we may have to use many Companies in and out of The Capital with many services, as hubs of other cities.

    My experience of Virgin West Coast has been very positive, and travelling off peak for longer journeys First Class, very decent reasonable fares.
    GNER now LNER, and Great Western, booking no matter how far ahead with the greatest restrictions, comes no where near Virgin West Coast.
    Ironically, we seem to be losing the best, from one of the worst Policies. when we are compared to European services in other countries and between them.

    The Dutch system i strongly admire, being able to travel Countrywide on a completely integrated travel system for rail, metro, tram, bus services, with one Chip card.
    When i lived in Amsterdam, it was a great freedom to be ale to decide to travel to another city or even between countries, for the same price, and no need to book ahead.
    It almost felt like a Human Right to have the freedom to travel spontaneously, and a sense of equality that everyone paid the same price, able to reach people at all
    economic levels. My European friends often wonder why my diary is so booked ahead for a train ride, without which you would pay by comparison, huge amounts more!

    Those visiting the UK are often shocked at the prices to travel long distances by rail. For more remotely served areas of the country, and trips that do not have a domestic Air travel option, it is quite isolating. The Franchising to me seems a proven failed Government policy, and a mess when you have to use several Companies, and the Physical structure all separated. The GNER example when suddenly handed back, paid over a £ billion back into the public purse when taken back into Non privatised control.

    Sad to see Virgin West Coast go, but perhaps with the operations and reputations of all the franchises and national system so poor, i would like to see a form of re-Nationalisation of Rail in the UK, that could still be broken down into Regional Operational units.
    Profits taken by The current Franchising Companies, could be brought back into Government coffers, or reduce fares so they become non-profit making.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    I recognised Barry from Eastenders and a couple of other soap stars though i can’t remember their names (I really must get a life!!).
    Travelled on VT a few times from London to Milton Keynes (I think it was) to pick up my car, and found them very good. A great breakfast was served at my seat on both occasions and though I hardly used them and am not RB’s greatest fan, I’m sorry to see them go.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello Marcus,

    Before the election was announced there were plans to change the rail franchising system.

    Network Rail is already nationlised. LNER is government-run.

    TOCs make either meagre profits or they operate at a loss.

    Indeed Dutch taxpapayers are funding Abellio which has three franchises (Scotrail, Greater Anglia and EMR).

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/10/16/dutch-government-leads-80m-rescue-giant-east-anglian-rail-network/

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17861724.scotrail-given-1m-a-month-bailout-dutch-taxpayers/

    Finance minister confirms NS may have to bail out Abellio again


    esselle
    Participant

    I thought the reason VT are out is that in the latest round of tenders there was a stipulation that they would be obliged to take on massive unfunded pension liabilities. They refused to, and were disqualified for non-compliance.

    Am I mistaken?


    TupeloKid
    Participant

    Not a big fan of the Branson personality cult, and his appearance at the beginning of the Virgin inflight entertainment (Vera”) video has always been hugely irritating.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Am I mistaken?

    Hello esselle

    The WCML franchise is a JV between Virgin Trains and Stagecoach.

    It all started with the news that Stagecoach was losing the EM Trains franchise.

    Details in the piece we published months ago.

    Stagecoach to lose East Midlands Trains franchise

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