Virgin Trains

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For the CrossCountry services formerly operated by Virgin, see Virgin CrossCountry.
Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains logo.png
Virgin Pendolino at Euston.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s): InterCity West Coast
9 March 1997 - 31 March 2017
Main route(s): London - Scotland
London - North West
London - West Midlands
Other route(s): London - North Wales
Fleet size: 56 Class 390 Pendolino sets
20 Class 221 Super Voyager sets
9 Mark 3 carriages
1 Driving Van Trailer
Stations called at: 42
Stations operated: 17
National Rail abbreviation: VT
Parent company: Virgin Rail Group
Virgin Group (51%)
Stagecoach (49%)
Web site: www.virgintrains.co.uk

Virgin Trains[1] is a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Virgin Group (51%) and Stagecoach (49%) that has operated the InterCity West Coast franchise since 9 March 1997 and is planned to expire in March 2017. Virgin Trains operates long-distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line from its Central London terminus at London Euston to the West Midlands, North West England, North Wales and Scotland. The service connects five of the UK's largest cities; London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, which have a combined metropolitan population of over 18 million people.

The Virgin Trains brand was also used on the legally and operationally separate Virgin CrossCountry franchise, which operated between 1997 and 2007.

History[edit]

Virgin Rail Group was awarded the InterCity West Coast franchise in January 1997 after beating Sea Containers and Stagecoach with operations commencing on 9 March 1997.[2] In October 1998 Virgin Group sold 49% of the shares in Virgin Rail Group to Stagecoach.[3]

When Virgin won the franchise, Railtrack was to upgrade the West Coast Main Line to allow tilting trains to operate at 140 mph by 2005. In the wake of the collapse of Railtrack and the inability of Network Rail to deliver on the 140 mph West Coast Main Line upgrade, both the Virgin CrossCountry and Virgin West Coast franchises were suspended in favour of management contracts in July 2002.[4] Due to costs having blown out from £2.5 billion to £10 billion there were cutbacks to the upgrade and the top speed reduced to 125 mph.[5]

Services[edit]

Pendolino 390001 Virgin Pioneer at Watford Junction
Standard Class aboard a Class 390 Pendolino
First Class aboard a Class 390 Pendolino
First Class aboard a Class 221 Super Voyager
A map of Virgin Trains services showing the off-peak service pattern each hour

In May 1998 Virgin introduced new services from London Euston to Shrewsbury and Blackpool North. The former ceased in 1999, the latter in May 2003.[6][7] In September 2004 a London Euston to Llandudno service was introduced ceasing in December 2008.[8]

In September 2005 Virgin introduced its first 125 mph timetable following the completion of Stage 1 of the upgrade.

In December 2007 as part of a reshuffle of rail franchises by the Department for Transport, services from Birmingham New Street to Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central via Crewe were transferred from the CrossCountry franchise to the InterCity West Coast franchise.[9]

In December 2008 a Wrexham to London Euston service was introduced operating south in the morning with an evening return.[10][11]

In February 2009 an hourly London Euston to Chester service was introduced.[12]

From January 2009 Virgin Trains gradually rolled out a new Very High Frequency timetable to take advantage of the completed West Coast Main Line upgrade.

There were many timetable changes from 8 December 2013. These resulted in new timetables. Most Edinburgh/Glasgow to Birmingham services were extended to/from London replacing the hourly Wolverhampton to Euston service.[13] In addition most Liverpool services will additionally call at Crewe. This has resulted in the latter being serviced by four Virgin trains in each direction per hour instead of the previous two.

Route Calling at Stock Frequency
A London Euston to Glasgow Central or Edinburgh Waverley via Birmingham New Street Milton Keynes Central, Coventry, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Sandwell and Dudley, Wolverhampton, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme Lake District/Penrith (alternating) and Carlisle, then to Glasgow Central or via Haymarket to Edinburgh Waverley (alternating) Pendolino & Super Voyager 1tph
B London Euston to Birmingham New Street 1x Rugby, Coventry and Birmingham International
1x Watford Junction, Coventry and Birmingham International
Peak time services run to/from Wolverhampton
2tph
C London Euston to Chester, Bangor, Holyhead and Wrexham General Milton Keynes Central and Crewe
8 trains per day extended beyond Chester via Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction to either Bangor (Gwynedd) or Holyhead. 1 train per day extended to Wrexham General. 1 train each weekday operates between Bangor, Holyhead and Birmingham New Street. Peak time services call at Nuneaton.
Super Voyager 1tph
D London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street Stafford, Crewe and Runcorn Pendolino 1tph
E London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly 1x Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield and Stockport
1x Milton Keynes Central, Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport
1x Crewe, Wilmslow and Stockport
Pendolino 3tph
F London Euston to Glasgow Central Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster,
Oxenholme Lake District/Penrith (alternating) and Carlisle
Pendolino 1tph

Moderation of competition[edit]

As a way of protecting the revenues of Virgin Trains to enable it to pay franchise premiums to the government to partly recoup the cost of the West Coast Main Line upgrade, the Office of Rail Regulation inserted a Moderation of Competition in Virgin's Track Access Agreement. Until its expiry in March 2012, this prevented any other train operating or open access companies operating services in competition that would abstract revenue.[14]

Performance[edit]

Virgin Trains suffered poor punctuality compared with some other transport operators between 2001 and 2006, according to Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Punctuality did gradually improve until the introduction of a new timetable (in December 2008), following the upgrade of the West Coast Main Line, which resulted in a dip in performance.[15] Performance subsequently recovered and peaked during 2010-2011, but then fell again and reached a new low for the year ending 31 March 2013 of 83.6% (MAA).[16]

The PPM MAA (Public Performance Measure Moving Annual Average - % of trains arriving within 10 minutes of the scheduled times) figures for Virgin Trains are as follows:

  • Financial year to 31 March 2002: 68.7%[17]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2003: 73.5%[18]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2004: 74.8%[19]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2005: 72.1%[20]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2006: 83.5%[21]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2007: 86.0%.[22]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2008: 86.2%.[23]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2009: 80.0%.[24]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2010: 84.6%.[25]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2011: 86.6%.[26]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2012: 85.9%.[27]
  • Financial year to 31 March 2013: 83.6%.[16]

Latest figures published by Network Rail for the seventh period of 2013-2014 recorded PPM of 92.2% for the period and a MAA of 83.5% for the 12 months up to 12 October 2013.[28] The PPM performance for the period is down 2.7 percentage points on the corresponding figure from the same period last year. Network Rail noted that Virgin Trains were only responsible for 16% of delays in period 5. Network Rail was itself directly responsible for 50% of Virgin Trains' delays, 20% were a result of external factors (e.g. fatalities) and the final 14% were due to other operators.

Chris Green as chief executive[29][30] led a drive to improve reliability and punctuality after much press criticism in 2001, and by 2006, due to improved reliability of trains and completion of major infrastructure projects, performance was better. Virgin has undertaken a number of projects to increase punctuality, including radio-controlled watches.[31]

Grayrigg derailment[edit]

Main article: Grayrigg derailment

On 23 February 2007 a Class 390 Pendolino forming the 17:15 London Euston to Glasgow Central service derailed in the village of Grayrigg in Cumbria.[32] The train was carrying 109 people. Several carriages were left lying on the railway embankments. An elderly woman was fatally injured in the derailment. Five people were seriously injured. The accident was caused by a faulty set of points.[33] The train itself however was widely praised for the way it retained its structural integrity. Richard Branson also praised the train driver because he attempted to stop the train and did not get out of the cab before it derailed.

Rolling stock[edit]

Virgin inherited a fleet of Class 86, Class 87 and Class 90s hauling Mark 2 and Mark 3 carriages with Driving Van Trailers on its electrified services and High Speed Trains for London Euston to Holyhead services.

A franchise commitment was the replacement of these trains with new tilting stock. In 1999 Virgin signed a deal to lease forty-four eight-carriage and nine nine-carriage Class 390 Pendolinos built by Alstom.[34] An option to extend all to nine carriages was enacted in 2002. The first entered service in January 2003. With the exception of services to Holyhead, the final locomotive hauled trains were withdrawn in June 2005.[35]

To operate the Holyhead services four four-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers were included in the order placed by Virgin CrossCountry. By the time they were delivered it was decided these would be too short so they entered service with Virgin CrossCountry. In September 2004 the High Speed Trains were withdrawn with services being operated by a combination of five-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers hired from Virgin CrossCountry and Class 47 and Class 90 hauled Mark 3 sets. From September 2005 Class 57/3s hauling Class 390 Pendolinos took over the locomotive hauled diagrams. This continued until December 2008 when five-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers took over all services.

With the Class 390 Pendolinos needing modification in 2006, a First GBRf Class 87 was hired to haul a Mark 3 set on Birmingham New Street services.[36]

To operate the Birmingham to Edinburgh and Glasgow services transferred from CrossCountry in December 2007, three four-carriage and thirteen five-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers were transferred. A further five five-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers followed in December 2008.[37]

In August 2008 Bombardier started a programme to rearrange the Class 221 Super Voyagers with the carriage containing the shop moved to adjoin the first class carriage and refurbished with 2+2 seats arranged more spaciously around tables. This allowed it to be used as a first class carriage on Holyhead services and as a standard class carriage at other times.[38][39]

In December 2010 one four-carriage Class 221 Super Voyager was disbanded with the two centre carriages being inserted into the other four-carriage sets to give Virgin a fleet of twenty five-carriage Class 221 Super Voyagers.[40] The two end carriages are stored at Central Rivers depot.

To provide it with a fleet of locomotives for use on diversionary services during the West Coast Mainline upgrade and rescue duties, Virgin signed a deal with Porterbrook in March 2002 to rebuild twelve Class 47s as Class 57/3s with the first delivered in June 2002.[41] After it was decided they would operate daily services along the North Wales Coast to Holyhead, another four were ordered from Porterbrook.[42] Following the completion of the West Coast Main Line upgrade in 2008 their use fell and after being sublet to Arriva Trains Wales, Colas Rail and First GBRf, six were returned to Porterbrook in August 2011,[43] three in April 2012[44] and the remaining seven in December 2012.

Virgin had long been angling for a franchise extension in return for ordering extra carriages for the Class 390 Pendolinos. The Department for Transport rejected this and instead placed an order itself with Alstom for 106 carriages allowing for four complete eleven-carriage sets and 31 sets to be extended by two carriages.[45][46] There was an option to extend the remaining 21 sets but this was allowed to lapse. The four new sets were delivered in 2011/12 while 31 sets are currently receiving extra carriages with all to be complete by December 2012. This has required a number of stations to have platforms lengthened.

Following the loss of a Class 390 Pendolino in the Grayrigg derailment, a Mark 3 set with a Class 82 Driving Van Trailer was leased with a Class 90 hired from EWS as required. In 2008 Virgin looked at leasing two Class 180[47] but decided to retain the Mark 3 set. Nicknamed the Pretendolino, this received re-upholstered seating, power points, wi-fi and a full external re-paint at Wabtec, Doncaster in 2009.[48] Virgin used this set with a Class 90 locomotive hired from Freightliner on a Euston to Crewe (via Birmingham) service on Fridays only until December 2012. From 9th December 2013 it was utilised to operate a London Euston -Birmingham New Street train on Thursdays and Fridays only, until it's withdrawl in October 2014 The Mk.III set was also occasionally hired out as a private charter train. It was used in the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and can be seen at King's Cross station at the end of the film.

All seats on Class 221 Super Voyagers and Class 390 Pendolinos originally had an on-board audio entertainment system featuring a number of radio or pre-recorded music channels. This was disabled in March 2010[49][50] and replaced with on-board WiFi provided by EE.[51][52] The service is available free in first class, and for a charge (which varies depending on how long the passenger wishes to use it for) in standard class.[53]

 Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Number   Built   Notes 
 mph   km/h 
Class 221 Super Voyager Virgin trains 221113 glasgow.jpg Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 20[54] 2001–2002 221142–221144 originally four-car sets; 221144 was disbanded
December 2010, with centre cars inserted in 221142 & 221143
and driving cars stored at Central Rivers depot.
Class 390 Pendolino 390029 'City of Stoke-on-Trent' at Birmingham New Street.JPG Electric multiple unit 125 200 56 2001–2004
2011–2012
390033 stored and partially scrapped after Grayrigg derailment.
Pendolino (from Italian Pendolo) refers to tilting trains.

Past fleet[edit]

 Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Built   Withdrawn   Notes 
 mph   km/h 
Class 43 Virgin trains `Leamington Spa 3.png InterCity 125 125 200 1975-1982 2003 Went into store, now operated by First Great Western, CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains and Grand Central. One set now used by Network Rail as the New Measurement Train.
Class 57/3 Euston station MMB 39 57306.jpg Diesel-electric locomotive 95 153 1998-2004 2012 Thunderbird locomotive, also previously used to haul Pendolinos on Holyhead services until all services to Holyhead started to be worked by Voyagers. Transferred to Network Rail, Direct Rail Services and West Coast Railway Company, now leased from DRS
Class 86 86229 'Lions Club International' at Birmingham New Street.jpg Electric Locomotive 100 161 1965-1966 2002 Replaced by Class 390, now exported to Floyd Zrt., Hungary
Class 87 87030 'Black Douglas' at Carlisle.jpg Electric Locomotive 110 177 1973-1975 2006 Replaced by Class 390, although withdrawals slower than expected due to problems with the newer trains. Most exported to Bulgaria.
Class 90 90015 'The International Brigades' at Carlisle.JPG Electric Locomotive 110 177 1987-1990 2005 Replaced by Class 390, transferred to one
Class 220 Class 220 Virgin Voyager eastbound from Bristol Parkway 2006-05-03 01.jpg Diesel-electric multiple unit 125 200 2000-2002 2007 Transferred from Virgin CrossCountry to Arriva CrossCountry upon change of franchise.
Mark 2 Coach Virgin Mk 2 carrage 2001...png Passenger Carriage 100 160 1964-1975 2003 Most preserved or scrapped
Mark 3 Carriage VT at Crewe station 2000.png Passenger Carriage 125 200 1975–1986 2006 Replaced by Class 390 and Class 221, loco-hauled carriages transferred to one. HST carriages now used by First Great Western, CrossCountry, East Coast, East Midlands Trains and Grand Central.
DVT 82115.jpg Driving Van Trailer 110 177 1988 2006 Replaced by Class 390, transferred to one.
Mark 3 Pretendolino[55] Virgin silver FO.JPG Passenger carriage 110 177 1975–1986 2014 Charter Train & Spare Train, was refurbished in 2009. Formed of 5 TSO, 1 RFM and 3 FO vehicles; and DVT 82126.
Virgin silver DVT.JPG Driving Van Trailer 110 177 1988 2014

Depots[edit]

The Class 390 fleet is allocated to the Alstom Traincare Centre at Longsight with lighter maintenance and overnight servicing carried out at Wembley, Oxley, Edge Hill and Polmadie depots. The Class 221 fleet is allocated to Bombardier's Central Rivers depot with lighter maintenance and overnight servicing carried out at LNWR, Crewe and Holyhead.

Future franchising arrangements[edit]

Main article: InterCity West Coast

Virgin Trains's franchise was due to expire in March 2012. In 2009 Richard Branson launched a campaign to have the next franchise period extended for 20 to 30 years, so that Virgin would be able to spend more on infrastructure and be able to see a return on investment.[56] Branson said the journey time between London and Birmingham could be reduced by 22 minutes to under one hour. This was turned down by the Department for Transport. Virgin had applied for a two-year extension but this was ruled out by the Department of Transport on legal grounds.[57]

In January 2011 the Department for Transport called for expressions of interest in bidding for the next InterCity West Coast franchise.[58] In March 2011 the Department for Transport announced that Abellio, FirstGroup, Keolis/SNCF and Virgin Rail Group had been shortlisted to bid for the franchise.[59] In May 2011 the Secretary of State announced the end date had been postponed to allow the recommendations in the McNulty Report to be absorbed.[60] In October 2011 the Department for Transport announced that Virgin had been granted a franchise extension until December 2012.[61]

The Invitation to Tender was issued to the shortlisted bidders in January 2012[62] with the Department for Transport awarding FirstGroup the new franchise in August 2012.[63]

In October 2012 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the government was cancelling the franchise competition for the InterCity West Coast franchise after discovering significant technical flaws in the way the franchise process was conducted, reversing the decision to award it to FirstGroup. Following an independent review of the franchising process, a fresh competition will be held.[64] The government announced it would negotiate with Virgin Trains to run the InterCity West Coast franchise for a further 9 to 13 months.[65][66] In December 2012 Virgin was awarded a 23-month management contract to run the franchise until 9 November 2014.[67][68]

In March 2013 the Secretary of State for Transport announced the franchise would again be extended until 31 March 2017.[69]

In July 2013 the Office of Rail Regulation rejected an application by Virgin Trains to operate new services to Shrewsbury and Blackpool North, citing capacity constraints on the West Coast Main Line.[70] In November 2013 a revised application for services to Shrewsbury was approved with services to commence in December 2014.[71]

Sponsorship[edit]

Virgin Trains sponsors Carlisle United F.C. as their travel sponsor for the 2013–14 season, and for the 2014–15 season they are to be the club's main shirt sponsor in a further two year deal.[72] Virgin Trains has also sponsored events such as Manchester International Festival in 2013.[73]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3007940 West Coast Trains Limited
  2. ^ Virgin pledges tilt trains for West Coast The Independent 31 January 1997
  3. ^ Virgin passengers get 'better deal' BBC News 7 October 1998
  4. ^ Supplementary memorandum by the Strategic Rail Authority House of Commons Publications 22 July 2002
  5. ^ West Coast railway upgrade under threat The Telegraph 24 July 2003
  6. ^ Pride of Shrewsbury The Encyclopedia of Modern Traction Names
  7. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 462 28 May 2003 Page 14
  8. ^ Virgin Trains Restore London to Llandudno Daily Service greatorme.org.uk
  9. ^ New Cross Country Franchise Consultation Document Department for Transport June 2006
  10. ^ Wrexham joins the Virgin network Virgin Trains Press Release 15 December 2008
  11. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 586 27 February 2008 Page 11
  12. ^ Roman legionnaires swap chariots for trains Virgin Trains Press Release 16 February 2009
  13. ^ Virgin Trains boosts Birmingham - Scotland services Business Traveller 29 May 2013
  14. ^ Model Clauses for Track Access Agreements: Access Rights and Moderation of Competition Office of the Rail Regulator June 2001
  15. ^ BBC. "'Glitch' on West Coast main line". BBC. 
  16. ^ a b "Rail performance results period 13". Network Rail. 
  17. ^ "National Rail Trends 2001-2002 Quarter Four". Strategic Rail Authority. 
  18. ^ "National Rail Trends 2002-2003 Quarter Four". Strategic Rail Authority. 
  19. ^ "National Rail Trends 2003-2004 Quarter Four". Strategic Rail Authority. 
  20. ^ "National Rail Trends 2004-2005 Quarter Four". Strategic Rail Authority. 
  21. ^ "National Rail Trends 2005-2006 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  22. ^ "National Rail Trends 2006-2007 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  23. ^ "National Rail Trends 2007-2008 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  24. ^ "National Rail Trends 2008-2009 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  25. ^ "National Rail Trends 2009-2010 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  26. ^ "National Rail Trends 2010-2011 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  27. ^ "National Rail Trends 2011-2012 Quarter Four". Office of Rail Regulation. 
  28. ^ "Rail performance results period 7". Network Rail. 
  29. ^ Thornton, Philip (17 February 1999). "The Player: Chris Green, Chief Executive of Virgin Rail: Right man to tackle 'mission impossible'". The Independent (London). Retrieved 6 June 2009. 
  30. ^ Balmforth, John (2007). Virgin Trains: a decade of progress. London: Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-7110-3224-8. 
  31. ^ "Virgin Trains goes Atomic" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 28 February 2006. 
  32. ^ "Train crashes in Lake District". BBC News Online. 23 February 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2007. 
  33. ^ "Rail crash report blames points". BBC News Online. 26 February 2007. 
  34. ^ From Dream to Reality The Locomotive & Carriage Institutiion 8 November 2002
  35. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 516 22 June 2005 Page 6
  36. ^ Class 87 - History The AC Locomotive Group
  37. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 575 26 September 2007 Page 16
  38. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 600 10 September 2008 Page 70
  39. ^ "Super Voyager fleet refreshed - early" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 13 February 2009. 
  40. ^ Virgin to eliminate four-car Super Voyagers Rail-News 16 November 2010
  41. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 433 17 April 2002 Page 17
  42. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 468 20 August 2003 Page 62
  43. ^ 57 Locomotive leased to Network Rail Porterbrook Leasing News 10 October 2011
  44. ^ Porterbrook has reached an agreement with Direct Rail Services for the lease of three Class 57 locomotives Porterbrook Leasing News 4 April 2012
  45. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 584 30 January 2008 Page 14
  46. ^ Virgin Rail Group welcomes decision on longer Pendolino trains Virgin Trains Press Release 31 July 2008
  47. ^ Rail Magazine Issue 591 7 May 2008 Page 64
  48. ^ Charter train potential for Virgin Trains 'new-look' loco-hauled trainset Virgin Trains Press Release 1 July 2009
  49. ^ "Please note: Virgin Trains onboard entertainment system no longer functions." Headphones, Virgin Trains.
  50. ^ http://www.northernrailways.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2921&start=0
  51. ^ "Virgin Trains customers get on-board WiFi between Birmingham and Scotland" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 5 November 2009. 
  52. ^ "Virgin Trains customers get on-board WiFi from North Wales and Chester" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 5 November 2009. 
  53. ^ "Wi-Fi on Virgin Trains". Virgin Trains. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  54. ^ "Virgin to eliminate four-car Super Voyagers". Rail-News.com (Ashby-da-la-Zouch). 16 November 2010. 
  55. ^ "Charter train potential for Virgin Trains’ ‘new-look’ loco-hauled trainset" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 1 July 2009. 
  56. ^ Wright, Robert (20 May 2009). "Branson urges £1bn rail spend". Financial Times (London). Retrieved 25 May 2009. 
  57. ^ Ford, Roger (November 2010). "No extension for Virgin". Modern Railways. p. 7. 
  58. ^ Official Journal of the European Union Notice OJEU 11 January 2011
  59. ^ "Shortlisted Bidders for Greater Anglia and InterCity West Coast Franchises" (Press release). Department for Transport. 24 March 2011. 
  60. ^ Milmo, Dan (15 May 2011). "Transport minister Philip Hammond delays Virgin Trains' west coast sale". The Observer (London).
  61. ^ "West Coas passengers in line for 28,000 extra seats as franchise extension signed" (Press release). Department for Transport. 27 October 2011. 
  62. ^ "InterCity West Coast franchise" (Press release). Department for Transport. 20 January 2012. 
  63. ^ "New operator for West Coast passengers" (Press release). Department for Transport. 15 August 2012. 
  64. ^ "West Coast Main Line franchise competition cancelled" (Press release). Department for Transport. 3 October 2012. 
  65. ^ "Virgin to run West Coast route 'for at least nine months'". BBC News. 15 October 2012.
  66. ^ "Department for Transport to negotiate with Virgin on temporary operation of West Coast rail services" (Press release). Department for Transport. 15 October 2012. 
  67. ^ "Virgin Trains to run improved west coast services" (Press release). Department for Transport. 6 December 2012. 
  68. ^ Two-year-extension-for-Virgin-Rail-after-West-Coast-chaos.html "Two-year extension for Virgin Rail after West Coast chaos". The Daily Telegraph (London). 6 December 2012.
  69. ^ "Railway plan puts new focus on passengers". Secretary of State for Transport. 26 March 2013.
  70. ^ West Coast Trains Limited 4th Supplemental Agreement Office of Rail Regulation 31 July 2013
  71. ^ "Update: Direct London-Shrewsbury rail services" (Press release). Virgin Trains. 15 January 2014. 
  72. ^ "TRAVEL: First Class from Virgin Trains". Carlisle United F.C. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 
  73. ^ "Virgin Trains sponsor Manchester International Festival". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
InterCity
As part of British Rail
Operator of InterCity West Coast franchise
1997 — 2017
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
First Transpennine Express
Train Operator of the Year
2007
Succeeded by
Northern Rail