Virgin Trains Loses the West Coast Mainline This December

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Virgin Trains brand is to disappear from the railways this December, as a new combined franchise operated by FirstGroup and Trenitalia have been handed the job of running the West Coast Mainline under the brand First Trenitalia. That sounds like First Genitalia. Whoever gets their social media job is going to get bored of hearing that very quickly.

Virgin was banned from bidding to run the newly created West Coast Partnership operation that runs the London-Glasgow route and will eventually be given the job of integrating with the HS2 line, so the end of Virgin Trains in the UK been on the cards for a while.

There are no more complaints about the decision from Virgin, which put out a sad statement saying: "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."

First Trenitalia is promising: 23 new trains, a full refurb of the current fleet of Pendolinos, charging points at all seats, better catering and 263 extra services per week when it's all up and running. [West Coast Partnership via BBC]