Avanti moves forward on West Coast
By Andy Hoskins, published 29/11/19
Avanti West Coast is the name of the new intercity operation from FirstGroup and Trenitalia who take over the franchise from Virgin Trains on December 8.
Italian for 'forward', Avanti “reflects a mission to deliver an innovative railway service that is ready for today and fit for the future”, according to the new operators.
The operators will refurbish 56 Pendolino trains, introduce a fleet of new trains and add 263 services per week by 2022.
Fares and ticket types will be simplified with mobile tickets and smartcards introduced.
Stations will be improved with refreshed waiting rooms, better customer facilities, more car park spaces, and greater accessibility for those who need it.
The partnership will also “pave the way for a new era in high-speed rail in the UK”, working with HS2 Ltd and the Department for Transport.
The 400-mile-long route serves cities including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow as well as London and North Wales.
“Avanti West Coast enshrines the type of forward-thinking operation we intend to run, that’s ready for today and fit for the future,” says Steve Montgomery, Managing Director of First Rail.
“We are very pleased and proud to be working with Trenitalia, a strong partner who is committed to playing an increasing role in UK rail and has many years of expertise in the high speed sector in Italy.”
Montgomery continues: “We are committed to our customers and over the next few years, we will work with our industry and local partners not only to invest in, and improve, rail services on the route, but also to attract more people to rail and connect communities across the country.”