Virgin loses highly profitable West Coast rail franchise

Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson used to be “devastated” these days after it used to be introduced West Coast mainline rail services and products between London and Glasgow, and the primary degree of HS2, might be taken on through First Trenitalia from December.

The new contract ends 20 years of West Coast regulate through Virgin and the brand new operator is promising an entire refurbishment of 56 Pendolino trains, new seats, unfastened wireless, upgraded catering and extra common services and products.

The line is Britain’s maximum profitable rail franchise. First Group and Trenitalia UK, a subsidiary in the end owned through the Italian govt, will run the provider as a 70-30 three way partnership.

They might be liable for creating HS2 between  London and Birmingham up till 2026, after which managing the road till 2031. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps mentioned: “This award is positive news for passengers, with more services, more direct connections and ambitious plans for a cleaner, greener railway.”

Virgin and its spouse Stagecoach had been barred from the tendering procedure through Whitehall over pension regulations.Sir Richard mentioned: “I am devastated for the teams — members of our Virgin family — who have worked tirelessly to become the top-rated franchise.” 

 The risk of the primary nationwide rail strike for many years higher dramatically these days after information of the franchise award, as  the RMT union known as it “just another political fix.”

 Trenitalia has run the C2C provider between east London and Essex since 2017 and a high-speed line in Italy.

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