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Railhub Archive
1999-02-09 OPR-001


Multi £million trains deal aids West Coast regeneration

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Virgin Trains
rolling stock procurement

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Multi £million trains deal aids West Coast regeneration

9 February 1999
source OPRAF
type Press release

Virgin Rail Group have today signed a £1.25 billion order for the build and maintenance of a new fleet of 53 state of the art tilting trains for its West Coast franchise. This marks the final stage in the investment programme - some £4 billion including the CrossCounty [[ CrossCountry]] rolling stock order - required to deliver the significant improvements for the West Coast Main Line, in speed and journeys, that will start to come on stream in 2001.

The news was warmly welcomed by Franchising Director, John O’Brien, who negotiated and let the 15 year franchise.

He said: “I made replacement of the existing ageing rolling stock a condition when the franchise was let. It is excellent to see that today’s announcement has moved their replacement one crucial and vitally important step closer.

“The trains are due to enter service between September 2001 and May 2002. From May 2002, a combination of increased speed and tilt will enable dramatic journey time reductions and additional services on one of Britain’s most important trunk routes. Speed increases will be phased - from 110 mph now, to 125mph in May 2002, and then to 140mph from May 2005 south of Crewe.

“Taken together, the new trains and the infrastructure work should transform West Coast into one of Europe’s foremost routes - beating the car for customer choice.”


Notes to Editors

1. The West Coast Trains (formerly InterCity West Coast) franchise was awarded to Virgin Rail Group in February 1997.

2. Railtrack and Virgin signed an agreement last June for the upgrading of the track, infrastructure and signalling - the Passenger Upgrade Two, or PUG2 agreement. This accounts for some £600 million of the £2.1 billion that Railtrack is investing on the West Coast Main Line.

3. This deal brings the network wide investment in new trains ordered since the start of franchising to over £1.5 billion. This will collectively release around 1700 new vehicles onto the network over the next three years, with another 300 to follow by 2006 worth another £ 500 million.

Railhub Archive ::: 1999-02-09 OPR-001


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