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.

VTEC Business Plan 2016-17

I've been asked (politely) by Virgin Trains East Coast to remove their business plan document and associated commentary. Ideally we can engage in some constructive discussion in the future rather than being ignored. The reason I posted the business plan was I considered it a historical document, it covers a period of time which has already passed so it was interesting to compare what was planned for 2016-17 and what actually happened, it was also interesting seeing their views on their first year performance.

Passenger satisfaction

Virgin Trains East Coast were very happy with their 92% satisfaction rating from the latest Transport Focus passenger survey. They say it's the highest rating of any long distance franchised operator, the key word here is franchised. Hull Trains and Grand Central are two of their biggest rail competitors and they both scored higher, but the key difference is they're not franchised. So to put it another way, VTEC was rated 3rd out of the four operators at King's Cross, doesn't sound as good when you put it like that does it?

#VTECvoices - Working for VTEC

We want to let the voices be heard from those who work at VTEC. We will provide an unedited and anonymous platform for VTEC staff to give their views. If you want us to publish something please contact us or send us a message on Twitter (@SaveECRewards). Please tell us that you want your message published, we will only publish content with permission. So if you work for VTEC, whether you agree or disagree with what is said, we want to hear from you.

TOC Wars

First of all a reminder to Virgin Trains East Coast - we've tried working constructively but have been ignored. We're still open to working constructively even though now it'll take a miracle to restore staff morale and passenger confidence. In the mean time we'll document as much as we can about this franchise so it can act as a guide to others in how not to run a train company. 

#VTECvoices - Air conditioning

We want to let the voices be heard from those who work at VTEC. We will provide an unedited and anonymous platform for VTEC staff to give their views. If you want us to publish something please contact us or send us a message on Twitter (@SaveECRewards). Please tell us that you want your message published, we will only publish content with permission.

The first submision is from a train guard who wants to explain why there's frequent air conditioning failures.

Airtime - We're not listening!

Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) used to hold regular feedback sessions that they branded Airtime it was the chance to meet a veriety of managers either at stations but sometimes on board the train. It was similar to the meet the manager events almost all other train operating companies arrange.

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