Rail franchises operators & contracts

09.12.19

Avanti takeover of the West Coast Main Line begins

Long-distance train services on The West Coast Main Line will be officially taken over by Avanti West Coast today (Dec 9), marking the start of a new era of intercity and high-speed rail services in the UK.

An Avanti train, featuring the new branding and franchise’s distinctive logo, will leave from Euston Station today, stopping at Coventry, Birmingham International, Stafford, Preston, Crewe, Carlisle and Motherwell before its final destination by early evening.

The debut train will be officially named ‘Pride and Prosperity’ by chief executive of FirstGroup, Matthew Gregory and Trenitalia’s managing director, Orazio Iacono. Also present will be Raffaele Trombetta, the Italian Ambassador to the UK, before its departure from London Euston.

The name of the train, and ‘Avanti’ itself (Italian for Let’s Go and Forward) have been chosen in recognition of the future of railways and the values and progress they will bring.

The logo’s orange triangle represents the three geographical points of the 400-mile long West Coast Main Line connecting our countries’ capital with towns and cities across England, North Wales and Scotland.

The West Coast Main Line was previously operated by Virgin Trains, who ran the service for 22 years, and is now in the hands of FirstGroup and Trenitatlia.

The new partnership will see the 56 Pendolino trains undergo complete refurbishment until they are ‘like new’, and 25,000 new seats installed.

Other passenger benefits include improved Wi-Fi and individual power sockets, simplified fares, improved on-board catering ad compensation if trains are delayed by 15 minutes.

263 extra trains will be in service every week by 2022, and a fleet of new, intercity trains will replace the current Voyager trains.

In addition to the Avanti services, The West Coast Partnership includes West Coast Partnership Development, which will be the ‘shadow operator’ for future high-speed rail services.

It will design, develop and mobilise operations for the new line working with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.

Steve Montgomery, managing director of First Rail said:

“We’re delighted to start serving the customers who take 40 million journeys every year on the west coast. We’ll bring families, friends, businesses and communities closer together with new trains and new destinations. We’re excited to get our plans underway and take services to the next level.”

 Orazio Iacono, managing director of Trenitalia said:

“We’re honoured to begin operating intercity services on the West Coast Main Line, one of the busiest railways in Europe, that will bring a host of improvements for the millions of people who use it every year.  Trenitalia will also be using its skills to help design and manage high speed rail services from North to South in the UK over the next few years. The name Avanti was chosen to represent our values and recognises our ten-year experience in the high speed in Italy with 350 million passengers. Quality, dynamism, innovation and future: this is what we want to guarantee for the West Coast main line service.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Ep.17 Becoming a data-driven railway, Kelley Quirk and Martin Mason

21/09/2020Ep.17 Becoming a data-driven railway, Kelley Quirk and Martin Mason

This week host Ailsa Cowen is joined by two guests from Network Rail. Martin Mason, Programme Manager, at Network Rail’s Digital Railway an... more >
Ely rail capacity upgrade open for public consultation

21/09/2020Ely rail capacity upgrade open for public consultation

Network Rail have today opened their first round of public consultation for proposals to upgrade the railway in and around Ely and will run for s... more >
Rail franchises to end, making way for a new railway

21/09/2020Rail franchises to end, making way for a new railway

After 24 years, the Department for Transport (DfT) has today (21st Sept) announced that rail franchising is to end, forming the early steps towar... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s network of independent repair facilities across the UK and further afield in its global network. ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >
Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

02/07/2019Sunshine future beckons for South Wales Railways, says 10:10 Climate Action’s Leo Murray

Smart electrification is the way to boost clean energy resources, argues Leo Murray, director at 10:10 Climate Action. Contractors are clear... more >
Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

02/07/2019Ambition doesn’t have to be expensive, says Midland Connect's Maria Machancoses

The TCR Midlands conference is only days away and tickets are going fast for the sector event of the year at the Vox Conference Centre in Birming... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he wo... more >