Why we'll give LNER a bit of time

When Virgin Trains East Coast took over the East Coast operation from Directly Operated Railways they inherited:

  • An excellent loyalty scheme
  • A well staffed operation with high staff morale
  • Reliable ticket machines that let you purchase a ticket for today quickly
  • A website that allowed you to modify tickets, book cycles and also extras such as catering vouchers

When LNER takes over from Virgin Trains East Coast they will inherit:

Why Virgin Trains was a weaker brand in the east?

I was asked yesterday why I thought Virgin Trains was a weaker brand on the east coast than it was on the west coast. When Virgin Trains West Coast looked like they were losing their franchise in 2012 (as First had won the bid) a lot of frenzy was whipped up on social media and Virgin were encouraging people to sign the petition to retain their franchise which resulted in 174,578 signatures. 

A parliamentary mention

I don't think East Coast Rewards, never mind Save East Coast Rewards has been mentioned in parliament before. Thanks to freedom of information legislation we've been able to get a picture of how East Coast Rewards helped grow the East Coast business. When asked by the MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel whether we had any information on the East Coast Rewards campaign and measures that proved its success, we were happy to help provide the information that we had.

Goodbye VTEC

Comments in the blog section reflect my personal view only and may not reflect the views of Save East Coast Rewards as a whole

It's hard to believe that Save East Coast Rewards actually had a decent relationship with Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) from around mid-2015 but this started to fall apart in 2017.

Statement to Virgin Trains West Coast employees about VTEC franchise

You may have seen that the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, has made an announcement today about the future of Virgin Trains on the east coast.

The Government has been considering two options for the future of the East Coast franchise to ensure continuity until the start of the planned East Coast Partnership from 2020.

Statement from Stagecoach regarding ECML franchise

I wanted to provide an update on the position regarding our contractual discussions with the Department for Transport (DfT) about the future operation of the East Coast rail franchise.

As you will recall, in recent months the Government has been conducting a detailed appraisal of two options for the future of the East Coast franchise to ensure continuity of service until the start of the planned East Coast Partnership on the route from 2020.

#CateringLottery live

It seems that Virgin Trains East Coast deliberately withold information on Twitter about on-board issues such as issues with toilets, short formations, missing reservatioms and catering failures. Information about these rarely appears on Twitter but sometimes it appears on the VTEC status page. So if I get the information (e.g. from train crew) I will try and tweet the information out.


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