Megatrain

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Megatrain
MegaTrain.svg
222017 EMT livery.jpg
Overview
Franchise(s): Integrated into Stagecoach Group franchises
(East Midlands Trains and South West Trains)
Integrated into Virgin CrossCountry
March 2006 - November 2007
Main Town(s): Sheffield, Portsmouth, Southampton, Nottingham
Other Town(s): London, Chesterfield, Leicester, Loughborough
Parent company: Stagecoach Group
Website: www.megatrain.com

Megatrain sells low-cost intercity railway tickets in the United Kingdom via the Megabus website. The available routes are by rail operators associated with Stagecoach Group (owner of the co-branded Megabus). Ticket sales began on 1 November 2005.

Service overview[edit]

Megatrain tickets are available on specific services operated by East Midlands Trains, South West Trains (both rail franchises wholly owned by Stagecoach Group) and Virgin Trains (49% owned by Stagecoach). The available services are those that are otherwise not busy,[1] and tickets are priced using the yield management model typical of low-cost airlines, where the lowest fares are offered to those who book early or on less popular journeys.

In addition to the point-to-point rail fares of Megatrain, Megabusplus provides combined coach and rail journeys between London and Yorkshire: buses link Huddersfield - Halifax - Bradford, Harrogate - York - Castleford and Hull - Scunthorpe to East Midlands Parkway railway station for travel by train to London.

A similar scheme is available from The Trainline on Virgin Trains West Coast between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly (Virgin Trains is 49% owned by Stagecoach).

Prices are advertised as starting at £1, with a 50p booking fee. Tickets must be purchased in advance, via the Megabus website or by telephone.

Megatrain tickets are available Monday to Saturday only, and not on Sundays or many public holidays.

Routes[edit]

Route Start date Notes
Sheffield - Chesterfield - Derby - Loughborough - Leicester - London St Pancras International 2 January 2008 East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Parkway (with connecting coach services to Yorkshire) added 20 March 2009

Nottingham - Loughborough - Leicester - London St Pancras International 2 January 2008 East Midlands Trains

Replacement for the M13 Megabus route.

Portsmouth Harbour - Portsmouth & Southsea - London Waterloo 1 November 2005 South West Trains

Havant added 29 October 2007

Southampton Central - London Waterloo 1 November 2005 South West Trains

Route extended to Bournemouth, Poole, and Weymouth 22 April 2006

Exeter St Davids - Exeter Central - Yeovil Junction - Salisbury - London Waterloo 22 April 2006 South West Trains

Axminster and Honiton added 29 October 2007.

Bristol Temple Meads - Bath Spa - Salisbury - London Waterloo 22 April 2006 South West Trains
Birmingham New Street - Edinburgh Waverley 2011 Virgin Trains

History[edit]

Megatrain was announced by Stagecoach on 31 October 2005 stating there will be more than 3000 seats available each week.[2] Ticket sales began on 1 November 2005 for trains running from 14 November 2005. The price of tickets ranged from £1 to £19.

The concept was piloted on two routes of Stagecoach's first franchise, South West Trains, from London Waterloo to Portsmouth and to Southampton. Standard timetabled services by South West Trains initially had designated areas for Megatrain customers.[3] Designated areas for Megatrain ticket holders are not currently used.

From 22 April 2006, further South West Trains services were added: London Waterloo to Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Exeter St Davids/Exeter Central, Yeovil Junction, Bournemouth, Weymouth and Salisbury in addition to the Southampton Central and Portsmouth and Southsea/Portsmouth Harbour services. Poole has since been added as an option on the Weymouth line. From 29 October 2007, following the completion of the Portsmouth area engineering works, the scheme also included Havant on the London-to-Portsmouth route; Megatrain tickets to Honiton and Axminster (on the London-to-Exeter route) were also added then.

On 6 March 2007, the Times Online announces that only 1 in 900 of the passengers carried by either Virgin or South West Trains companies bought a Megatrain low-fare ticket.[4]

On 2 January 2008, the Megatrain concept was extended to certain rail services on the East Midlands franchise, with the introduction of Megatrain between London St Pancras and Sheffield, and London and Chesterfield/Nottingham, on selected East Midlands Trains services.

The new East Midlands Trains franchise was awarded to Stagecoach in November 2007 and from 2 January 2008 Megatrain services started running from London St Pancras International to Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham, Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield.[5]

The service was available on the following Virgin Trains (which is 49% owned by Stagecoach) services as well: Penzance - Bristol Temple Meads, Bournemouth and Southampton Central - Birmingham New Street, Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley and Morpeth - Edinburgh Waverley. Tickets are also available from some intermediate stops on these routes. These routes were withdrawn on 11 November 2007 when the train services were transferred to CrossCountry, owned by Arriva.

At the start of 2009 more routes were introduced between Norwich and Nottingham, and Leicester and Sheffield.[6]

In March 2009 Megabusplus tickets offering for combined coach and train journeys to London via East Midlands Parkway railway station were introduced;[7] Three feeder coach routes were provided: Huddersfield - Halifax - Bradford, Harrogate - York - Castleford and Hull - Scunthorpe.

Former routes[edit]

Route Start date End date Notes
Penzance - Bristol Temple Meads 22 April 2006 10 November 2007 Was operated as part of Cross Country franchise
Bournemouth/Southampton Central - Birmingham New Street 22 April 2006 10 November 2007
Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley 22 April 2006 10 November 2007 Partially reinstated in 2008 with one early morning journey and one late evening journey, which have since stopped running
Morpeth - Edinburgh Waverley 22 April 2006 10 November 2007
Manchester Piccadilly - Glasgow Central January 2008 January 2009 One journey each direction as part of Virgin Trains
Birmingham New Street - Coventry - London 2009
Sheffield - Chesterfield - Nottingham - Peterborough - Norwich 5 January 2009

References[edit]

External links[edit]