ECML rail franchise expected to end 'in days'

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 6 Jun 2018
at 19:04
.

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

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Report in this evening’s FT says that the East Coast Mainline franchise is expected to be scrapped within a matter of days.

    As previously reported the East Coast Mainline is a troubled franchise.

    It’s currently operated by VTEC which is a JV between Stagecoach and the Virgin Group. It has incurred heavy losses over the past couple of years.

    FT reports that the govt will either renationalise the ECML or negotiate a ‘not-for-profit’ deal with Stagecoach/Virgin.

    VTEC hopes it can continue to operate the line under contract.

    The govt’s transport department declined to comment.

    Here’s the link. There may be a paywall.

    https://www.ft.com/content/9631d7a2-5790-11e8-bdb7-f6677d2e1ce8


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I understand that an announcement from the govt could have been as early as today. But it was cancelled.

    Last minute discussions perhaps ?


    Flightlevel
    Participant

    Let’s trust they re-nationalise it when it was far better than VTEC.
    It doesn’t need staff who think they are elite cabin crew who have lost any concept of customer service like now!


    StephenLondon
    Participant

    I agree with Flightlevel…when it was Nationalised Express, not only did the government make money, but they had some darn good staff who really went the extra mile. When VTEC came in, standards plummeted, service was almost non-existent, and the trains were filthy. I rode ECML last week and whilst the carriage was more modern than the usual 1977-diesel train carriages, it was dirty, and the ‘weekend’ service wasn’t fit for purpose.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    BREAKING: VTEC just announced that it is losing the ECML franchise. The latter will be brought back under public control.

    More information to follow.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    More details in The Scotsman

    “VTEC to be stripped of contract”

    https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/virgin-trains-east-coast-to-be-stripped-of-contract-1-4740268


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I presume the news Virgin are being stripped of the franchise means that any complimentary service recovery First Class ticket vouchers must be used by June 24th… the day LNER takes over..

    https://news.sky.com/story/east-coast-rail-franchise-to-come-under-government-control-11374723

    or do you think they will be transferable..?


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Martyn – Too early to say.

    Today’s decision must have come as a surprise to Stagecoach/Virgin as it was hoping the govt would have allowed it to continue on a not-for-profit basis until a new operator could be found.

    LNER is only a temporary solution until a new franchise can be awarded.

    This could take some time. Govt-owned East Coast operated the ECML between 2009 and 2015 before VTEC took over

    And if there’s a change of govt who knows what might happen ?

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20151215172524/http://www.directlyoperatedrailways.co.uk/html/index.php


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Thanks Alex – but decided to use them up in the next week or so with a boyz couple of days in Edinburgh.. I was saving them for a time when the Forum received complimentary reviews about the service.

    I received the vouchers a few years ago after a shocking trip in F. Staff were extremely rude, food was non existent etc etc..

    Looking forward though to a couple of days enjoying whatever it is I find up there… 🙂


    transtraxman
    Participant

    @martynsinclair

    I presume the news Virgin are being stripped of the franchise means that any complimentary service recovery First Class ticket vouchers must be used by June 24th… the day LNER takes over..
    or do you think they will be transferable..?

    http://www.lnerailway.co.uk/customer-information

    Q: I have travel vouchers from a previous refund. Will these be honoured by LNER?

    A: Yes, you can still use your travel vouchers, they will remain valid up to their expiry date.

    It only takes a couple of clicks to find out.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Martyn – I think you are wise to use the voucher while VTEC is still in charge.

    Transtraxman – From what I understand Martyn’s voucher were for complimentary service recovery so would hold no monetary value.

    http://www.lnerailway.co.uk/customer-information

    Q: I have travel vouchers from a previous refund. Will these be honoured by LNER?

    A: Yes, you can still use your travel vouchers, they will remain valid up to their expiry date.

    It only takes a couple of clicks to find out.

    What LNER is referring to are those vouchers which would monetary value. They could be for a refund or they might be for Delay Repay or something else.

    In which case I am not sure whether or not VTEC service recovery vouchers would be accepted by LNER.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    It’s been announced that David Horne, VTEC’s current MD, will assume the same role at LNER. At the time of writing there will be no major product changes. LNER has confirmed that the free onboard catering in first class will continue for the time being.

    LNER starts operations on June 24.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    From the ‘horses mouth’, the service recovery vouchers are transferable to LNER.

    Whilst I am not privy to any confidential inside management information – from what I have read from correspondence, virtually the same management teams will remain in place…

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