As we write this Blog at 10:00 on Saturday 28th February there is just 16 hours left of the Government-operation of the East Coast rail franchise. From 02:00 tomorrow morning Virgin Trains East Coast takes over and the line returns to private franchised ownership. I am particularly pleased to see Virgin operating the East Coast route. During my 12 years in Virgin Trains PR I was involved in supporting the bid teams to various extents with media and stakeholder activity on a number of bids. For me personally it will be great to see Virgin trains on the route and I am told that there will be two Virgin branded trains in service on Monday. We will be at the launch so look out for a Blog from us next week.
Despite the Virgin branding, the East Coast franchise will be held by a Stagecoach/Virgin partnership with Stagecoach holding 90% of the shares.
Steven Knight is a Transport Specialist who has over 40 years experience in the bus and rail industries as well as in specialist transport journalism. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.