2 DECEMBER 2019
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New branding and service details have been unveiled by rail operator First Trenitalia for the new West Coast rail franchise, replacing Virgin Trains (BTN 19 August). The new service, Avanti West Coast, begins next Sunday, 8 December.
Due to run until 2031, the new agreement is being operated by First Group, which has a 70% holding, and the Italian state railway company Trenitalia, which holds the remaining 30%.
First Group said: “Under the new West Coast Partnership, First Trenitalia is committed to delivering passenger enhancements … (including) more trains, more seats, simplified fares and more frequent services.”
The group said the 56 Pendolino trains operating the service will be refurbished with 25,000 new seats, more reliable wi-fi and improved catering. By 2022, there will be 263 more train services every week to more places and a new train fleet introduced.
Fares and ticket types are to be simplified and mobile tickets and smartcards brought in, the company added, while stations will be improved with refreshed waiting rooms, more car park spaces, and greater accessibility for those that need it.
(See also Azuma arrives on East Coast in this issue).
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