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Good riddance - National Express East Coast & East Anglia

Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Good riddance - National Express East Coast & East Anglia

Some more good news on the railway front
National Express handed back the East coat main line franchise last weekend
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8360527.stm
They must have caused one of the worst deterioration is customer service ever since they took over from GNER - which although they had problems - was arguably the best railway franchise company - and I speak as a regular user of their London to Scotland services.

Anyone here used the East Coast Trains this week ? - early days - but just wondered if there were any immediate signs.
http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/
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35 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

Alas I never seem to have cause to use the ECML these days – I never once actually travelled on NXEC (although their sister NXEA serves all my local stations). I know I've said it in this forum before, but I too remember GNER with fondness although I didn't use them particularly frequently. I suppose it could be something to do with the fact that London to Peterborough was my first ever intercity train ride – which, having never flown, meant it was the fastest speed I'd ever travelled at as a kid.
csogilvie
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

I never had any problem with NXEC I must admit, usually found the trains running to time, Free WIFI made the time pass quicker etc.
I wonder if the new company will manage to rebrand their trains, something NXEC seemed to fail to actually have completed last time I saw one Cheesy
Community Veteran
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

You think that's bad, you should see NXEA – their trains have got so many liveries I've lost count… some are in NXEA liveries, some are in One liveries which was the name NXEA used to go by, and some are even still in WAGN liveries, despite the fact WAGN haven't run the trains since 2004!
Simon_M
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

Have you any idea how much it costs to paint a train?  Shocked Shocked    It's our ticket money they are spending - I know where I'd rather they spent it.  Huh
Especially as I imagine this nationalised operation is only intended to be temporary until they get another bidder.
Having said that, the news footage on day 1 did seem to show some re-branded rolling stock, but I've hardly got used to the NXEC livery, so maybe I was just confused.  Undecided Undecided
Community Veteran
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

Quote

Have you any idea how much it costs to paint a train?


Shouldn`t cost too much, just park them in the sidings down east london, and the graffiti artists will do it for nothing !  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

I think they only repainted the majority of their HST's ( the diesels used for Inverness, Aberdeen and a few other routes. )
Most of their Mk IV coaches hauled by class 91 electric locos - only had vynyl logos laid over the old GNER one's, and first photos this week show just Vinyl's  overlaid on the National Express logos/
The cost of paint / Vinyl covers is a very valid one, and here in Scotland - Transport for Scotland made it a condition of the franchise renewal - that the Scotrail trains have a standard livery - and only small Train Operating Company logo  so when next franchise renewal comes - only minimal cost involved. Some might say canny Scot's  Wink 
The East Coast Railways - will operate the line for about 2 years. 
It is possible that DfT will strip NatEx of East Anglian and c2c to Southend, Shroeburyness  too if they can.
pierre_pierre
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

like this then
Community Veteran
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

Quote from: mal0z
It is possible that DfT will strip NatEx of East Anglian and c2c to Southend, Shroeburyness  too if they can.

I read that too… not sure what to think about it though. Can't decide if I'd like NXEA to stay or not. Huh Their service used to be awful (back when they were called One), but they have improved it in the past couple of years… on the other hand it's still not great; for example the line I normally use only has one train an hour on a Sunday – and this is a direct line from a London suburb to the centre of the city! But then I have to wonder would any replacement company actually be any better…
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

Well - we had National Express running Scotrail in the first franchise, but they were replaced by First about 4 years ago, and things have got a good deal better. But on the other hand, First ran the Great Eastern services too - and you may have views on them, and First made a real mess of Great Western a while back.
I don't think any of the railway franchise holders is very good - Virgin made a mess of introduction of the Voyagers on Cross Country for example.
But those asking for nationalisation  have short memories of how bad British Rail was at times and in many matters.
Community Veteran
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

I think there are a couple of decent TOCs out there, the two that come to mind being Chiltern and London Overground  – admittedly I've never travelled on the former, but I get the impression they're quite popular amongst their users, and London Overground seem to have the right idea about a lot of things like all-open-hours staffing, Oyster prepay facilities and train frequency. (As you'd expect, being a subsidiary of TfL.)
First, as you say, are a mixed bag. I don't have experience of GE (my area was part of the WAGN franchise, which was combined with GE to make One), but First did take over another part of the WAGN franchise that I occasionally use – the bit that goes in to King's Cross. And as far as I can tell they're alright but nothing special. They seem to be doing a good job getting on with Thameslink ‘2000’ though…
Community Veteran
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast

I hear and read that NedRail/Serco are doing a good job with Merseyrail and possibly with Northern ? - but yes Chiltern seem to have a good reputation
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast & East Anglia


And now they are going to loose East Anglia - out of Liverpool Street etc
"National Express will have its East Anglia rail franchise terminated three years early, the government has said.
The Department for Transport said National Express would lose the franchise on 31 March 2011.
It could have been extended until 2014 had National Express not defaulted on another franchise - the East Coast Main Line - earlier this year.
National Express said the decision was "expected", but that it was "disappointed" by the announcement.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said the process for securing a new operator would start immediately so that a new franchise could begin in April 2011.
East Anglia services run between London's Liverpool Street station and eastern England destinations, including Peterborough and Norwich. "
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8380108.stm
pierre_pierre
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Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast & East Anglia

you could say the Cheery Picker collapsed
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Good riddance - National Express East Coast & East Anglia

Yes Pierre - sadly you can look forward to reducing levels of customer care on the Great Eastern until the new franchise is awarded. Let's hope the process is quicker and they do something next summer for you Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk folk.
There has been talk of Nat Ex being bought out by one of the other transport companies - not sure if that would help
Good luck