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Wallsendmag said:
Just one of those things, First bid more than Virgin...
Precisely my point.

Bottom line is what the government base every decision on at the moment. The bids are dressed up with promises to do this and promises to do that but it's just padding to give the bids 'credibility' with Joe Public. What do they take us for?

We KNOW it will result in cuts. We KNOW it will mean higher fares and we KNOW the only real beneficiary is the government who sell out at every opportunity just to top up the coffers. They want to cut their investment in the railways and somebody has to take up the slack. Guess who that is?

When will they ever learn that putting people out of work to save money will cost them (us) dear in the long run.
 

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So , what do you want ? You want the Government to spend more on Railways ? Having worked for the two prime examples of failed TOCs , GNER and NXEC , I can tell you they each had a very different way of not making it work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wallsendmag said:
So , what do you want ? You want the Government to spend more on Railways ? Having worked for the two prime examples of failed TOCs , GNER and NXEC , I can tell you they each had a very different way of not making it work.
Well you hit the point again. "Two examples of failed TOCs..." I have no idea of the meaning of the acronyms in either of your posts but the salient point here is 'failed'.

So in answer to your question, what I'd like to see is investment in the railways that works, not continued investment in the railways that doesn't work. And if it doesn't work then I'd like to know why.

Look, I'm no expert in the running of the railways, but then neither apparently are some of those paid to do the job. But what seems painfully obvious to me is that the track, rolling stock and infrastructure all being run by separate companies is not helping to provide the best service at the best possible price.

What I do know is that Virgin as a brand is very customer focussed and I'm sure they have pushed Stagecoach (their operating partner) into a similar mindset. I'm also confident that if they asked for investment to be made in infrastructure then that investment was badly needed before the required standard of service could be delivered.

If First can deliver on promises that Virgin can't I'll be amazed.
 

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I had the misfortune to have to travel on SouthEastern this morning rather than my normal motorcycle commute.

The first thing that strikes me is that overcrowding is worse now than 10 years ago.

Then the fares as we know are multiples higher, £21 return for a 25 mile journey each way into London terminal (no travel card ), £100 a week after tax just to get to work , I wonder just how long people can stand these costs when wages are pegged and inflation levels mean workers are taking a pay cut each year.

Commuting on a motorcycle is not perfect but I'd take it any day over train travel.
 

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ROSCO= ROlling Stock COmpany- one of the leasing companies that owns the majority of the roling stock. First are unique for a TOC- Train Operating Company in actually owning some rolling stock, something Virgin doesn't. You've hit the nail on the head though too many seperate layers needing profit .If the railways had to have been privatised it should have been privatised as British Rail PLC . You get used to the franchise cycles so far I've gone from Intercity (BR) to Intercity East Coast (BR Shadow Franchise) to GNER (SeaCo) then GNER again , NXEC(National Express) was next until the DfT took the Franchise back and we became East Coast Mainline Ltd . What's privatisation done for me? Well I have a nice collectin of ties and namebadges :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wallsendmag said:
You've hit the nail on the head though too many seperate layers needing profit .
Hallelujah! Spot on. Now why can't (won't) the government see it like that? I have my own theories but it would be interesting to hear yours first as you work in the industry.
 

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rustyintegrale said:
There's a strong smell of bullshit emanating from this.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19264614

Especially after the great big turd they dropped yesterday about the rise in fares... [smiley=argue.gif]
What happened to monopoly rules ? I thought we were all supposed to have more choice? Fares would reduce as a result of the competition? The public purse would be lightened with no more subsidies? Well we are paying £3billion a year on rail infrastructure! What a complete disgrace!! I was reading this morning how a 23 mile daily journey into london now costs £3,200 per year on a saver ticket - european equiv journeys no more than £300. Are we f#cking idiots in this country that we continue to pay like this? How is this cheaper than car travel and therefore how is it helping wth traffic congestion? Its total bollocks :evil: as usual we are screwed what ever we do!!
 

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Don't have many answers to the overall problem but just wait for the new trains to arrive IEP is going to cost £20k a month more to lease than the current stock and that figure is per coach :eek: Can you see fares coming down with that extra cost ?
 

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the problem as i see it was many many moons ago a company called british rail that was owned by a british government......spent many moons being under invested in to the extent where it was on the verge of falling apart.

so the clever government thought ah i have an idea lets privatise it all and get loads of money in the process, instead of having to spend money!!!

it then started to do just that and fall apart to the extent that crashes became the norm and people died!!!! shock horror.....the government said. you havn't invested in this fantastic thing we sold you have you??? so we will fine you for that...and yes get more money in :)

and so it continued.....to the present days heap of crap we call a railway service.
i worked for a swiss company and the railway over their is flipping great......it arrives on time and leaves on time, even if they have some bloody leaves on the track.
 

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Wallsendmag said:
Just one of those things, First bid more than Virgin . Don't be fooled into thinking Virgin have spent anything on the West Coast , it was all Network Rail and the ROSCOs .
Virgin transformed the West Coast, better rolling stock, improved timetables, shaved over an hour of my journey time from Wigan to Euston. Let's be honest, if First really are the only Operator to 'own' their rolling stock then it's hardly a shining success given they run nearly 40yr old 125's. First are possibly the very worst Operator in the UK & by my experiences as a frequent train traveller, Virgin were the best.

Angry as fuck that those idiots First have won the West Coast franchise & yet another example of the Government being 110% useless.
 

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W7 PMC said:
Wallsendmag said:
Just one of those things, First bid more than Virgin . Don't be fooled into thinking Virgin have spent anything on the West Coast , it was all Network Rail and the ROSCOs .
Virgin transformed the West Coast, better rolling stock, improved timetables, shaved over an hour of my journey time from Wigan to Euston. Let's be honest, if First really are the only Operator to 'own' their rolling stock then it's hardly a shining success given they run nearly 40yr old 125's. First are possibly the very worst Operator in the UK & by my experiences as a frequent train traveller, Virgin were the best.

Angry as fuck that those idiots First have won the West Coast franchise & yet another example of the Government being 110% useless.
Actually that would be the Roscos and Network Rail/Railtrack it would have happened whoever was running the service. At the end of the day all the operators are much of a muchness and so many variables affect the day to day running of the railway. The West Coast mainline was closed for five hours a few days ago while a gunman threatened to throw his child off of an overbridge :eek:
 

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Out of interest, who researched and introduced and paid for the pendelino trains? I have seen films that suggest it was Virgin but is this just PR?
 

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Main article: British Rail Class 390

In 2002, Virgin Trains in the UK began operating custom-designed Pendolino trains known as the Class 390 on its West Coast Main Line (WCML) franchise.

The 53 9-car trains were constructed by Alstom and are leased by Virgin Trains from Angel Trains.

Due to the failure of the WCML upgrade to provide in-cab signalling, these units are limited in service to 125 mph (200 km/h) operation rather than their 140 mph (225 km/h) design speed. In 2006, Virgin Trains announced that, over the next three years, they will be examining the possibility of running the trains at 135 mph (215 km/h) through the Trent Valley as part of their new WCML Franchise Proposal.[12]

An Alstom Class 390 Pendolino in Birmingham.
The Class 390 Pendolino are maintained by Alstom (West Coast Traincare) under contract to Virgin Trains until 2012. The main maintenance locations are Wembley, Midlands (Oxley, Wolverhampton), Manchester (Longsight) and Glasgow (Polmadie), as well as Liverpool (for minor work only) and several "Traincare Points" along the line of route (such as Euston and Carlisle). Headquarters for West Coast Traincare moved from the former Metro-Cammell factory at Washwood Heath in Birmingham upon its closure in November 2005 to Manchester Longsight depot with some functions being based at a new office facility at Oxley depot.

The DfT has announced that 31 of the existing 9-car sets will be lengthened to 11 cars to increase capacity. Four new 11-car sets are also to be built. Angel Trains ordered the vehicles from Alstom in September 2008.[13] Virgin Rail Projects has been selected to introduce the new trains. The longer units will require major infrastructure changes to allow stations and depots to accommodate the 11-car units.

Two decades earlier, British Rail had planned to bring tilting train technology to the same line with the APT project. Technical problems caused by pressure to launch the service early and lack of the political will to provide sufficient funding to overcome them forced the abandonment of this early attempt, although much of the technology was used to design and build Pendolino trains.[14]

On 23 February 2007, a Virgin Trains Pendolino train was derailed near Grayrigg, Cumbria. Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson credited the Pendolino with saving lives in the crash, describing it to BBC News as being "built like a tank".[15] A report released on 4 September 2007 found that faulty points were the cause of the accident.[
 

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