Bufferstop wrote:The Govt. were having to pick up the bill as West Coast isn't licenced to run scheduled services. I don't know what individual services cost to run, but I would have thought £6k per day was a bargain price. Only the franchised operator or the ORR can run scheduled services without having to gain approval.
Exactly. That's also the reason they weren't running in the Northern paths. The replacement bus service fulfilled Northern's franchise obligations, if not its passengers' expectations.
Bufferstop wrote:ATM they're running a daily service provided by DRS to get workers to Sellafield. It wasn't provide for in the franchise and I guess Northern don't have the spare capacity to run it.
If that's the two daily services around the coast then they are Northern franchised services running on Northern's Safety Certificate, but the traction is contracted out to DRS. It pre-dates the current franchise and it's nothing to do with WCR. It uses DRS stock because the DfT re-allocated two of Northern's 156s somewhere else as part of the fallout from the DfT's TPE/Chiltern 170 c0ck up, and the Cumbrian Coast was the easiest/least politically unattractive option to back fill a service with hired traction. Of DMUs only 142s, 153s and 156s (I think) are route-cleared which limited options a bit.