WCML Franchise

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Bufferstop
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:47 pm

Don't think they had much option. If they took it into Directly Operated and de-branded all of the stock, then Virgin won the re-run of the bidding, DOR would end up footing the bill for repaint of the whole fleet. And who knows what other costs tricky Dicky's lawyers could take them for. Perhaps this might bring home to politicians of all flavours just how much money the franchising system wastes on consultants and lawyers.
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b308
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:40 pm

Interestingly one of my fellow rail employees has posted this:

"Latest figures showed passenger subsidy on east and west coast main lines as 0.5p and 3.5p per mile respectively"

Can't say if the figures are true, but as we've subsidised Mr B and his train set for the past 15 years it wouldn't surprise me...

Edit:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft- ... -input-01/

Mind you, looking at Northern Rail... Perhaps Branch Lines really aren't that profitable after-all! :shock:

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GarrettTheThief
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby GarrettTheThief » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:29 am

Looks as if Virgin will be around for a short while. I liked the fact that they stuck to two different familiar liveries - red, and the red and silver theme you saw on the Charter Relief, some locos, the voyager and the Class 390. Speaking of which, I might be able to save up the money and get a taster for what first class is like on the pendolino.
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby Essex2Visuvesi » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:03 am

Looking at the first class compartment on the Colchester to liverpool St train we travelled on last week you're paying a premium to have it to yourself lol
Not sure what the Pendolino first class is like but the standard class compartments on VR (Finnish railways) are far more comfortable
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Bufferstop
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 22, 2012 12:14 pm

E2V - On the latest UK stock there are just two levels of comfort, standard, and slightly less uncomfortable.
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GarrettTheThief
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby GarrettTheThief » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:12 pm

Yeah, tbh it might be better to travel standard class (I've seen 1st class in the Meridians and it's quite nice but whether or not it's that more comfortable and convenient is up for discussion). Comfort has never been an issue for me, apart from first generation DMUs/Sprinters on occasion, and the horribly cramped Voyagers.

Saying that, I read on Jo Caulfield's web site (things she learned as a comedian) that it's sometimes cheaper to travel first class!
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b308
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:19 pm

Blame the Victorians, they were responsible for our loading gauge, the rest of Europe has a lot more room to play with, even on tilting trains!

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GarrettTheThief
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby GarrettTheThief » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:47 pm

I've travelled on Swiss, French and German trains and both the single and double deckers were very nice and spacious. Where I love trains and busy scenes like stations, freight yards and TMDs, actual journeys are very tedious. Therefore, comfort is everything, and bigger countries mean longer journeys.

Basically, I see your point. Bloody Victorians.
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b308
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby b308 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:59 pm

I can categorically say that we staff would love to have them over here! It's all about cost, the only line they built to European loading gauge was the old GCR and they shut it down! To "retro" even just the mainlines would cost an absolute fortune, it's bad enough when they just have to lift the bridges and tunnels for overhead electrification...

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GarrettTheThief
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby GarrettTheThief » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:30 pm

Oh, the Great Central Railway! I moved in with my parents earlier this year and we live near Loughborough station. I need to visit the platform again.

I know little about how economics works, especially when it comes to railways, but I bet the costs will come out of increased rail fares. As if rail travel isn't expensive enough here. I never understood why either.
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Bufferstop
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:43 pm

The biggest mistake with the old Great Central line wasn't shutting it down it was the piecemeal selling off of the trackbed! It would have been a ready made route for HS2.
We don't need any more space than the mark3s had. The only thing I found uncomfortable in those was the first class seats if they were jammed in the recline position. When you look at the major shareholders is it any wonder that Virgin trains have seating densities somewhere between a bus and a plane.
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hiffano
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby hiffano » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:48 pm

on my now regular journey to brum from warrington, i have never noticed the voyager tilt, till monday, and boy did i notice it. I dunno why it was suddenly so apparant (or maybe all my others had it turned off?)

and I see a lot of people complain about virgin legroom.
as a 6 foot errr, chunky type chap, I hate traveling on cross country as I have my knees wedged under my chin, but on the virgin service I always have room. My only problem is my reserved forward facing seats are ALWAYS facing bloody backwards, and i don't like traveling backwards

regarding overseas travel.

mm, Italy was dire. not comfortable, and one train was running with a delay of 2 weeks.... i kid you not, we waited on the platform for an hour before the guy who sold us the tickets came to tell us the next train wasn't due for 2 weeks, despite the timetable stating 14:15... and no, we couldn't have a refund of tickets!

Egypt, hmm, ok, we paid "premium" prices, very comfortable seats, but crazy poor service in stations.

Spains trains are much like the spanish, I shall say no more for fear of offending anyone spanish.
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wobblybob
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby wobblybob » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:26 pm

Now we have the big inquiry and a promised fresh start to the franchising of InterCity West Coast. I wonder if the politicians and civil servants will pick the easy option to avoid rekindling the Virgin -v- First acrimony: award the franchise to neither of them! SNCF anyone?

Bob

senorsenales
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby senorsenales » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:37 pm

I had a taste of both FGW and Virgin express stock last week.

One, crowded, dirty, not a lot of legroom, not cleaned during the layover in London, and grimy windows. The other, fast, clean, spacious seating, had been prepared for use before loading, light and airy.

I know which I preferred.

hiffano
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Re: WCML Franchise

Postby hiffano » Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:11 am

because one journey represents the entire company.
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