Rail franchises operators & contracts

28.11.19

New railway partnership named Avanti West Coast

FirstGroup and Trenitalia’s collaboration on the West Coast line unveiled the name of their new rail franchise at a special event in Birmingham last night (Nov 27).

Avanti West Coast is the new name of the line that will replace the InterCity West Coast line ran by Virgin Trains.

The word Avanti means ‘Forward’ in Italian and according to the new operators, the moniker was chosen to reflect a railway service that is “ready for today and fit for the future”.

The new partnership is nine days from launching, with the take over set for Dec 8. The service will connect cities and towns across England, North Wales and Scotland to the nation’s capital, providing a “vital economic artery bringing cities and people closer together”.

The Avanti West Coast logo, features the United Kingdom in the background and a vibrant orange triangle on top, symbolising the 400-mile long route that the train will serve, including Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Glasgow, London and North Wales.

Passengers who travel on the route will see more trains, more seats, more simplified fares and more frequent services.

The 56 Pendolino trains will undergo dramatic refurbishment with 25,000 new seats, better Wi-Fi and improved catering services.  

263 more train services will be in service ever week by 2022 under the new partnership and a fleet of new trains rolled out.

Speaking at the launch of the new brand, Steve Montgomery, managing director of First Rail, one of the UK’s most experienced rail operators, said:

“Today marks the start of a new era in high-speed rail services - one that will generate national prosperity and pride. Avanti West Coast enshrines the type of forward-thinking operation we intend to run, that’s ready for today and fit for the future.

“We are committed to our customers and over the next few years, we will work with our industry and local partners not only to invest in, and improve, rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country.”

Ernesto Sicilia, managing director, Trenitalia (UK) Ltd, said:

“It’s an amazing honour to partner with FirstGroup.  After our entrance into the British market in 2017, today marks another step in our ambition to play a positive role in the UK rail industry, in which we see a great future. 

“Avanti West Coast is a strong, progressive and dynamic brand that reflects our commitment to providing our customers with an exceptional service. We are thrilled that the name Avanti has been chosen to represent these values to our customers and pays tribute to our expertise in transforming Italian railways.”

 

Photo: First Group

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