InterCity West Coast Rail Franchise
The Department for Transport has announced the new West Coast rail franchise has been
awarded to First Group. This transfers the operation of passenger train services on this
important rail route from the present franchise holder, Virgin Trains.
In commenting on the franchise change, Rugby Rail Users Group has expressed some
concerns at the changes and the prospects for future long distance rail services from
“We are disappointed the Department for Transport has decided to change the franchise
operation on the West Coast Main Line. Overall Virgin Trains has done a commendable
job in improving the quality and frequency of train services on the route. We do have
concerns about the quality and viability of First Group’s bid especially in regard to the
long term financial commitments and the effect this might have on train service quality.
First Group’s plans do suggest a number a train service alterations but regrettably there is
nothing we have seen for Rugby rail passengers in this announcement. There is still no
restoration of direct through services to the North West and Glasgow for which RRUG
has been campaigning for some time, or a suggestion of later services from London on
Rugby Rail Users Group co-ordinates and present the views of rail customers using
services at Rugby and will continue to press for improved rail services at Rugby.
Rugby Rail Users Group
19th August 2012