Virgin/Stagecoach/SNCF bid for HS2 franchise

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  FDOS_UK 25 Apr 2017
at 14:14

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  • AMcWhirter

    Virgin Group and Stagecoach will be using SNCF’s expertise should they win the franchise to operate HS2.

    As with VTEC (Virgin Trains East Coast) the Virgin name is being used largely for branding purposes. (VTEC is 90 per cent Stagecoach and 10 per cent Virgin Holdings).

    So with this new bid Stagecoach will hold 50 per cent of the venture with 20 per cent holding by Virgin and 30 per cent by SNCF.

    But with SNCF being involved would suggest that the UK rail will lose its “turn up and go” convenience.

    As with Eurostar (majority owned by SNCF), Thalys and TGV domestic services all seats must be reserved.

    No standing is allowed although the operators are known to provide a limited number of tip down seats at times of peak demand when passengers turn up at stations without a reservation.

    We can also expect airline-style pricing with yield management and seats being priced according to supply and demand. This is not new for SNCF. It was the first European rail company to price its high-speed trains in this fashion decades ago.


    At the speeds trains travel at, IMHO it is ludicrous that standing is allowed at all.

    Even commuter trains get up to motorway speeds and high speed trains can go way faster, around the touch down speed of some jet airliners.

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