VTEC franchise negotiation

DISCLAIMER: articles in the blog section represent the views of the poster only and not the Save East Coast Rewards campaign as a whole

Wrapped up in todays announcement about rail investment was the mention that from 2020 the East Coast franchise will become a partnership franchise where the main franchise holder and infrastructure operator (currently Network Rail) will work together as one. As a result of this the current Virgin Trains East Coast franchise will terminate in 2020, rather than 2023 which was the original end date.

A ride on the Green Azuma

Although the Virgin Azuma trains aren't due to go into service until late on in 2018 it's still possible to ride on the same type of train today. Azuma is Virgin's brandname for their class 800 family trains. GWR uses the less imaginative Intercity Express Train (IET) as the brand name (as they were developed from the government led Intercity Express Project) but nearly everything about the trains will be the same.

Why we have ads on this site

Unless you use an ad blocker you've probably noticed some ads on our site, we try and put them in places that don't interfere with the content.

So why do we have ads? We neither aim or expect to make a profit running Save East Coast Rewards but the ads also ensure we do not run at a loss. We use the ads to cover the costs of running the site, also, in the early days, we also used some of this income for our own advertising to make people more aware of this campaign and the drawbacks of VTEC switching to Nectar.

An update

In the interests of transparency I thought I'd explain why some of the blog posts have changed. Specifically the ones that referenced someone from VTEC who was speaking at eCommerce Show North earlier this week. Yesterday I was asked by someone at VTEC who I have been in contact in the past to remove the specific references to the individual. 

VTEC and happy customers

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) do talk so much nonsense and the marketing press lap it up! I don't know if it's because it's a group of people who like to pat each other on the back to appear competent or whether they just take what VTEC say at face value. The mainstream press are also guilty of copy and pasting VTEC press releases (usually incorrectly adding a picture of a west coast Pendolino or Voyager to show how little knowledge they have) without any critical questioning.

Virgin Trains EC flawed eCommerce strategy

A year ago (2016) I felt positive about the future of Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC). Apart from the loyalty scheme things seemed to be going in the right direction. In August last year Kristal Ireland was given the role of head of eCommerce and retail and all the articles I could find about her showed that she was very highly regarded in the industry. It seemed like VTEC had made the right decision.

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