10 DECEMBER 2012


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Article from BTNews 10 DECEMBER 2012

Virgin Rail West Coast continues

Rail passengers will hopefully experience better services including 28,000 more seats a day under an agreement announced last week for Virgin Trains to continue operating services on the West Coast Main Line.  This follows controversy last October, the franchise having initially been awarded to First Group.  (See BTN 22 October)

The new franchise agreement will run for up to 23 months after which the West Coast Main Line will be let under a long-term franchise.

It coincides with the early completion of a Government-backed deal to roll out 106 new Pendolino carriages, providing passengers with four new 11-carriage trains and lengthening 31 existing trains from nine carriages to 11.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “We are determined to ensure not only that passengers continue to experience the same levels of service they have in the past, but that services improve.  There will be a new hourly service linking Glasgow and London and we will also work with Virgin Trains to explore other service improvements”.

Passengers travelling will also find it easier to claim compensation if their train is severely delayed thanks to plans for Virgin Trains to introduce an improved Passenger’s Charter incorporating a Delay Repay scheme from 1 April 2013, subject to agreement. www.virgintrains.co.uk

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