First Trenitalia has won the contract to run rail services on the West Coast Main Line.
The route connects London Euston to Glasgow Central, through Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. The West Coast Mainline also serves our local area with the Moorlands two nearest mainline railway stations, Stoke-On-Trent and Macclesfield being served by the route
The operator, made up of First Group and Italian firm Trenitalia, replaces Virgin from December.
this comes after after the news that many rail commuters will have to pay an extra 100-pounds for their annual season tickets from January.
Regulated fares can go up by a maximum of 2-point-8 percent. The cap is linked to July’s Retail Prices Index measure of inflation.
Commenting on the announcement that First Trenitalia has been chosen to run the West Coast Partnership rail franchise, David Sidebottom, director of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
“Passengers on the West Coast network told Transport Focus that their key priorities for improvement are improving value for money, getting a seat on the train and enjoying a more frequent, reliable and punctual services.
“Passengers also want to see a fare structure that is transparent and a simple, seamless ticketing process. Free WiFi, better luggage storage and increased staff visibility are also key priorities for passengers who will use the West Coast Partnership. It is good to see efforts to meet many of these key passenger aspirations at the heart of the new franchise with First Trenitalia.
“We also expect to see the promised improvements to delay repay meet the aspirations set out in the Transport Focus ‘Make Delay Pay’ campaign – with a clear commitment from the operator to ensure passengers are made aware of their right to claim and an easy, automated claims process.
“First Trenitalia has a real opportunity to shape the future and integrate the smooth running of HS2 with the West Coast Partnership. This is an exciting moment for passengers, with the promise of a new high-speed line that has state-of-the-art trains, more seats and faster journey times. However, the new operator must communicate effectively with passengers about the engineering work needed to build HS2 not least at Euston where works are already underway to deliver long term improvements that we know passengers want.”
“Transport Focus looks forward to working closely with First Trenitalia to ensure the needs of passengers feature strongly at the heart of the new operation and any major decisions about HS2.”
Virgin Trains has today issued the following statement in response to the news the West Coast Partnership has been awarded to First Trentitalia.
A Virgin Trains spokesperson said ‘Virgin Trains has led the industry for 22 years, delivering faster journeys to more destinations, harnessing new technology and always putting the customer first.
“We’ll now work with First Trenitalia to ensure a seamless handover for customers, who should still book and travel as normal.’