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News in today that GNER have been asked to surrender the ECML franchise because they can't afford to make the higher paymants that they bid to matain their ECML franchise A bid that they made before the London bombings cut their passenger growth, before the price of electricity went through the roof and before the rail regulator agreed to allow Grand Central to run over the same route calling at the same stations without the same costs. At the same time the government is paying Virgin £1.4b to opporate the west coast route to Scotland. And GNER scored the highest in last years customer satisfaction survey. Absolutly crazy!
Arethusa
 

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Is this a case of moving goalposts, or is the payment to Virgin in the same league as the cash for honours scandal? There is no way that this can be called a level playing field. Frankly it's an appalling way to treat business.

Regards

John
 

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The payment to Virgin is a consequence of the failure of the WCML upgrade to stick to budget or meet the original specification --- this risk was RailTrack/Network Rail's and hence has ended up with the government.
GNER problems are a result of risks that were contractually theirs. The possibility of other operators being allowed on the route was known at the time that they bid for the franchise. The London bombing affected many companies.
 

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Isn't there a further complication that GNER's parent company SeaContainers has got financial problems as well and are unable to support GNER?
Regards,
John Webb
 

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This seems really unfair. While I can't say I had 100% customer satisfaction, I spent a fairly large chunk of my life using the GNER service from Kings Cross to Kirkcaldy and would miss it. I guess the faults I found, like delays due to sun, leaves etc, would be across the board not just specific to GNER. I liked their livery and micro waved bacon rolls too.

So who's going to replace them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
And there's the twist, GNER are not banned from bidding to be granted the franchise. AS for who else would like to bid, I think it'll be a given that Virgin will have a pop, maybe Grand Central would like to have it to themselves for a while. Whatever happens if we do see GNER replaced we'll loose the classiest livery of all the TOCs.
 

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Agree it would be shame to lose GNER livery as it is easily the best livery we have .

Having said that GNERs bid was very adventurous and was put together with out too much consideration of downsides. I'm sorry but a bombing campaign in London was foreseen as likely by most people (if exactly when and where was not) it was therefore very irresponsible of GNER to put in such a "high end growth" bid.

Virgin could be a contender. I suspect, however, the main contender will be First Group. Mixed feelings on this. In First scotrail they are actually doing a good job, however on Great Western , I think the opposite is true. Whatever happens I hope we retain the Quality GNER image and not First Barbie!

Russell
 

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QUOTE (rb277170 @ 17 Dec 2006, 11:35) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Agree it would be shame to lose GNER livery as it is easily the best livery we have .
Russell

Yes an excellent, simple livery that looks classy & Eurostars look good in it (as they do in their original livery). Although I quite like the Virgin livery it is a tad garish, but then that reflects the younger style of the company and of course SRB.

Nuff said about some of the others !
 

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Give ME the franchise, because after living on a mere pittance of an income from the Government for the last 5 years, I could do the job and still live on FAR less than the current Directors 'Need' to live on.
 
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