Latest Rail News

17.08.12

Virgin offered WCML ‘deliverability’ – DfT scoring system

Virgin Rail was assessed as the top bidder for ‘deliverability’ in the DfT scoring matrix for the WCML, reports today suggest, but lost out to FirstGroup on other measures, such as customer service and fleet delivery.

The Telegraph newspaper reported that ‘deliverability’ covers things like timetabling for forecast demand and improvements to service quality.

Virgin is also thought to have bid around £0.7bn less than FirstGroup’s £5.5bn in payments to the Government over the franchise period.

On Wednesday, the Government named FirstGroup the winner of the franchise, leaving Virgin potentially out of the rail operating business in the UK.

Founder of the company Richard Branson labelled their decision “insanity” and said that FirstGroup’s financially ambitious bid – some labelled it commercially suicidal – would lead to cuts to services and fare rises once capacity was reached and growth could no longer provide extra revenue.

Virgin’s chief executive officer, Tony Collins, who said the announcement marked the “saddest day” of his professional life, recorded a video message for staff, which is available here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H3okjq5KB0&

More RTM coverage of the announcement:

Direct links to London welcomed after FirstGroup WCML win

Industry reaction to FirstGroup West Coast win

Virgin ‘unlikely’ to ever bid again for a rail franchise

West Coast franchise awarded to FirstGroup

FirstGroup win could lead to RMT strikes

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Steve Goodfellow   20/08/2012 at 11:49

Fascinating, First Group outscore Virgin on customer service! If I told the DfT that I can run faster than Usain Bolt would they give me a gold medal?

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