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Member Name: judderman
Date: 05/07/00, updated on 19/07/00 (92 review reads)
Advantages: looking towards the future
Disadvantages: crap now
Virgin trains are complained about a lot, and through my experience deserve this, and they have recently added cause for more complaint. A new rail regulation means rail companies can change their definition of peak time, so Virgin has decided to extend its peak time 1 hour to 10:30am, a hour longer than GNER's and therefore some passengers may be paying up to twice the amount that they were last month. Another blow for the service is that the website has just lost its quality hallmark. The trainline.com has received many complaints that tickets have not arrived even though accounts have been debited, therefore the Which? webtrader scheme has removed it from its lists.
Services could improve however, as Virgin are planning for the future. If they are awarded the franchise, currently held by GNER, they want to develop the east coast main line to use 140mph trains. This would mean much faster journeys, and a larger passenger capacity between London and Scotland, but also that Virgin would have a monopoly in the area.
The idea is to provide a decent alternative to the motorways, and provide new cities such as Sunderland and Lincoln with direct links to London. Their intentions are good therefore but I will be interested as to whether they could acheive this, and whether their current performance is good enough for them to win the franchise.
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