Monday, June 24, 2024
- Advertisement -
HomeTrain Operating CompaniesWest Coast target for Virgin Trains return to rail

West Coast target for Virgin Trains return to rail

Virgin has submitted an application to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) for four Open Access rail paths. The routes the company has applied for are Preston/Rochdale via Manchester, Liverpool Lime Street, Birmingham New Street, and Glasgow Central.

A spokesperson for the Virgin Group said: “Whilst this application is just the first step towards exploring what might be possible, we think Open Access is the way forward. Open Access increases consumer choice and competition both of which Virgin has always supported.”

Virgin Rail Group operated the InterCity West Coast franchise for 20 years up until 2019, covering long distance passenger services on the West Coast Main Line between London up to Scotland.

The Virgin Group spokesperson added: “Virgin is exceptionally proud of everything Virgin Trains and its wonderful onboard teams achieved in the UK. In the 20 years Virgin Trains operated on the West Coast, they reduced journey times considerably, tripled services on key routes and provided an exceptional customer experience while increasing passenger numbers from 8 million to 42 million per year. 

“The team won many awards for service and was incredibly popular with the British public.  We’re confident customers would welcome Virgin Trains back, providing them with much-needed choice and competition.”

The news comes days after FirstGroup plc announced that it plans to launch a new rail service between Rochdale and London, expanding its open access operations as part of its successful Lumo business.

The company said the move would enable passengers to travel directly between the two destinations for the first time in nearly 25 years.

The leading private sector transport operator has submitted the first phase of an application for the new open access train service to the ORR.

Earlier on this year Alstom announced plans to operate a new passenger rail service across England and Wales. Working in partnership with consultancy SLC Rail, the open access operation will be known as Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway (WSMR).

image_pdfDownload article

Most Popular

- Advertisement -