What Does New East Coast Franchise Mean for York?
3:11pm 27th November 2014
A joint bid from Virgin and Stagecoach has won the bid to run the East Coast rail franchise, which connects York to London and Scotland.
Services from the new firm, which will be branded Virgin Trains East Coast, will start on Sunday 1st March taking over from government-run firm East Coast.
Here's what you need to know about the new service:
FASTER JOURNEYS FROM YORK TO LONDON
- Cut from two hours to 1 hour 47 minutes
- Three trains an hour to London from May 2019
- An extra train every two hours on top of this from May 2020
IMPROVEMENTS FOR YORK STATION
- New open plan ticket offices
- More ticket machines
- Existing East Coast trains will be refurbished before being replaced with sixty five new "Super Express" trains from 2018.
- 3,100 extra seats in morning rush hour by 2020
SOME FARES CUT
- All long distance standard anytime fares cut by 10% but no other details on fares revealed yet.
NEW RAIL ACADEMY FOR YORK...
- National Academy for Rail Professional Education to open in York, Derby and London.
...BUT UNCERTAINTY OVER HEADQUARTERS
- It's not clear if the headquarters of the Inter City Railways company, which will be known to customers as Virgin East Coast will still be based in York. Around 200 people are currently employed by current operator East Coast in the city. York Council says it will work with the new operator to improve job opportunities for people in the city.
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